Without realizing it, most of you who speak in front of groups possess natural skills that you take for granted. However, if you were to channel your focus on three key internal components you would supercharge your speech power every time you had to speak to a group. So what are the three things that are always with you? They are your ability to breathe, think, and make sound. These three fundamentals are available to you just like a juggler tosses balls into the air to keep in balance or change the rhythm and height of their toss.
First, are you under-using your breathing capacity and control? You will know the answer to this if you are struggling to be heard by your listeners or are short of breath or nervous when you speak. Actually your breath supports your speech in different ways. You can expand your breath capacity to provide enough air to speak through your longer sentences without running out or gasping. It takes a simple exercise such as counting, or saying the alphabet to determine how far you can go before you need a new breath. You can consciously train yourself to take in more air at the beginning and gradually let it out as you speak so there’s enough to get you to the end.
Also, if you have a queasy feeling just before or during your presentation you can direct your mind to take a quick stop, take three breaths and discover that you’ve become relaxed, gained focus, and can resume your speech. The best thing is you are in control just like the juggler. It’s simply a matter of bringing out your breathing speech tool when needed.
Second, when you animate yourself with energy, you will speak with energy. To do this, give yourself a positive energy mind talk, such as, “I’m excited to be speaking here today.” Then present yourself with energy to your listeners. It’s wonderful when the audience picks up your energy and really listens to what you are telling them. Fill your mind and body with energy right before every speech.
Third, the sound of your voice must be in sync with your message and your energy. If you are energized your vocal sound will have variety of expression. Tell a story to back up your points, and let your voice paint the picture of your story. You do this by speaking quickly or slowly at key moments in your example, by emotionally getting excited or slowly pausing and feeling the serious parts along with the audience. It’s as if you are experiencing the story at that moment. Your sound may go quiet or it may be passionate; but it is heard and felt by all.
So, for the next speech you prepare be sure to practice using all your speech power gears to be in control and mesmerize your audience. Remember your breath, your thoughts, and your sound are always with you as loyal partners who have your back.