Speaking Advice That Will Surprise You

Ready! Set! Now…Let Go!

It’s the last 10 minutes of four 2-hr. Speaker’s Training for the I.T. Department at Western Carolina University…. 

The attendees speaking tool-box is well stocked now.

From content to posture, mindset to how to open a speech. We’ve covered the gamut. We’ve practiced. Exchanged direct feedback. And shared many laughs and fun along the way.

Vast improvements have been made from the first class to today are clearly evident.

I say….

“Next time you are in front of an audience, put aside everything we’ve covered here – and just LET GO!”

“Tension is the occupational disease of the actor,” states Lee Strasberg, a highly acclaimed acting teacher. The same advice goes to the speaker.

You Know This Story

You’re next in line to speak. Your mind is spinning a story of “doomed to fail,” and those pirouettes are taking your stomach and your heart rate on a ride.

Your prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain that controls planning, problem-solving, memory (oh dear!) and the part that regulates emotional responses has stepped out for a coffee break.

Your amygdala is babysitting and is stirring up trouble in every part of your hormone system, in your ability to think clearly, breathe or see fully.

The worst thing you can do at this point …

…open your toolbox to make sure you’ve got everything you need. Make eye contact – check, enunciate your words clearly – check, and on and on. Internal chatter is like a fly buzzing around your ears – a certain distraction from being present.

After saying, “LET GO”, I continued with this:

 If you’re deliberate about your objective, organized your message, practiced numerous times, engaged in some physical and vocal warm-up exercises – you’re ready!

Now is not the time for second-guessing. Now is the time to step fully in your humble power, remember your deepest intention and relax.

“The key to facilitating emotion, feeling and nuance and presence is relaxation,” says academy award-winning actress Julianne Moore.

Open your toolbox in the construction phase. But when you step into the spotlight, believe in yourself and just enjoy the delightful exchange between you and your audience.