5 days into our series Speak like a fish … and a question bursts open among many bubbles of inspiration “How is this really for me?” Here is your answer, inspired by Henry Ford…
“Either you are a public speaker, or you are not, whatever you choose, you are right… in the middle of public interactions.”
The same way we cannot not communicate, we cannot not do public speaking. There will always be a time where we will be in front of more than one person with something to express. If I was to define public speaking, it would be something like… “becoming oneself when expressing ideas with other people” or… “remaining oneself when expressing ideas in front of people on stage”. The common thread of the definitions is “oneself”. To perform well in public speaking, we need to develop skills associated with self-esteem and self-confidence; these skills are the same skills needed for any public interaction and they are the skills of self-leadership.
Self-leadership is having a developed sense of who we are, what we can do, where we are going coupled with the ability to influence our communication, emotions and behaviors on the way to getting there (Inspired from Bryant, Kazan 2012).
It is impossible to properly speak in public without self-leadership and increasing self-leadership means building confidence and ability to speak in public. Qualities to develop as a speaker -or a public interactor- are many. We will talk about -the capability to manage emotions especially the ability to remain calm under pressure -or a high flexibility to adapt to any situation and therefore a keen sense of observation -a sense of charisma -an easiness to improvise, which is linked with clear mind, great thinking under pressure, and a strong sense of physical presence -listening skills especially to listen to your audience, whatever its size (one person versus a 1000 persons), and whatever the listening tools used (eyes, ears, body, spirit, etc.) -spontaneity in building rapport and connecting with people, using uptimes and downtimes concept well -the usage of your voice, its strength, depth, rhythm, song, tone, tempo -and for that we will look at your breathing -and your fluidity of movement (on stage, off stage) -without forgetting a step in the world of empathy and knowing how to step in the listener shoes. And these are only a subset… the world of self-leadership like public speaking is more than a kingdom or a realm, it’s a huge universe full of stars, galaxies and possibilities.
Did you know that whatever emotions you feel, your audience will mirror it? Showing that you care becomes the base.
If you, as a speaker, do not care for your subject or for being there with your audience, why would they care and therefore listen to your speech? If you, as a speaker, is not curious of being here with this audience, why should they be and exchange with you? Can we find what emotions a speaker is feeling? or what emotions s/he is trying to create?
Let’s find out with our next post, our Saturday exercise! See you tomorrow 13:40 (GMT +1).