How To Speak From The Heart
Date: July 1, 2016
For you and your audience to get the most out of your speaking experience, your words and emotion have to have absolute authenticity.
People are put off by someone who sounds like they’re talking from a textbook, and it’s no fun for a speaker to fake feelings either. What’s the point in a presentation that isn’t genuine and is just regurgitated content from other people?
A killer speech has many other assets to it, but aside from an engaging introduction, entertaining ending and exceptional projection, speaking from the heart should always be a priority for speakers.
Get Excited About Your Topic
In all honesty, I’m not here to tell you to speak from the heart, because that completely defies this subject; you can’t force passion. But you can find it.
At the beginning of your speaking career, you won’t have the advantage of being picky over your subjects, but even so, it’s your duty to find aspects of the topics which interest you.
We talk so much about giving to your audience and your entire presentation being about them, but in these initial stages, you can afford to be a little selfish and focus on how the speech affects you.
Projecting your excitement and passion to an audience is one of the best gifts you can give to them; much more beneficial than facts and figures and a lot more inspiring than a professional thought-out researched speech.
So how do you get excited about something you care little about? Phish for minor details which matter to you. Let’s say you have to speak to graduates about choosing a career you love and yet it took you 20 years to discover your passion. Incorporate your own personal experience into the speech and find nuggets of areas you excel in.
When it comes to exploring a topic area which is close to your heart, go all the way with it and don’t hold back. Discover new ways to talk about a matter you care about and make it relevant to both your audience and the time of your presentation.
Be Completely Honest And Care Less About Others
Most times, we hold back tears because we don’t want to screw up our face and look ugly in front of others. Or embarrass ourselves. Or look like we care too much. As a result, we appear to care more by holding in our tears.
In order to speak from the heart, you have to listen to it. A tip for general life: cry if you need to. Laugh when you want to and speak your mind when you need to. Ignoring what your gut is telling you and refusing to act on your instincts isn’t doing you any favours when it comes to the big speech.
Positive people have a tendency to block out any emotions which don’t make them feel good or exude their positive spirit. That is a great trait to have, but in that, you sometimes get this feeling that the person isn’t being true to themselves… or others.
The truth is, everyone has bad days, even the happiest and most successful of us. Letting your guard down and facing those tough moments head on makes you stronger and shows you’re human. People like to be surrounded be those who don’t sweep their problems under the rug. People who speak their mind. People who mess up because they’re following their heart. People who take risks.
This also means that people like to listen to these types of individuals and take advice from them, because they’re honest and open. There’s no counterfeit emotional costume they’re wearing in front of others.
Your Speech Has To Be Emotional
This doesn’t always mean to be prepared for floods of tears by the audience, because this includes a variation of emotions, but also sadness nonetheless.
If you rely on Google to inspire your thoughts when writing a speech, then you’re speaking from someone else’s heart and shadowing their thoughts. Put pen to paper and listen to your thoughts and emotions.
Include past and personal experiences because that’s what people love to hear about. They’re moved by tales rather than facts, because it’s personal and evokes emotion.
During your writing journey, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I care about what I’m saying?
- Does it make me emotional to think about these issues?
- Is what I’m speaking about likely to impact a person’s life?
And most importantly…
- Am I being completely honest with myself?
The reason why the last one is so important is because you can’t speak from the heart if you’re not being authentic. Twisting the truth to make the tale sound more interesting or as a way to isolate yourself from any feelings it conjures up is dishonest and will come across as impassive.
When you next accept a speaking project, ask yourself the above questions before you even contemplate the writing stage.
It’s not always easy to let your guard down and be completely honest with a room full of strangers – if anything, the major hurdle is to be honest with yourself. But, if speaking was easy, everyone would be doing it.
All the best and here’s to creating more expressive and genuine speeches.