This past Sunday afternoon, refreshingly candid, humorously irreverent – teacher and counselor, Eva Marice conducted the first of three classes for people like myself who felt a need to brush up on their public speaking skills. “You must love yourself” said Eva. You must first of all, love yourself if you want to connect with an audience. This somewhat surprising – almost counter intuitive insight is the basis of compassionate expression, Eva explained. Loving yourself allows you, as a public speaker to give the audience your full attention. A person who love’s them self – is much more relaxed and sensitive to those seated in front of them – sensitive to the needs and shifting mood of their audience.
The opposite – self doubt and feelings of inadequacy subtract from the message – any message the speaker intends to deliver. Feelings of fear and inadequacy are communicated as clearly as any words we might speak. But then, most people who stand before a group to deliver a message are at least a little nervous. Not to worry… too much! Practice, and… more practice. Soon enough, we who aspire to the stage will get over ourselves. Developing a healthy measure of self love is a good place to begin.
This message of self love reveled an easily overlooked dynamic that makes all the difference in the delivery of a message. As with any encounter with another person, relationship must be established. Until a friendly, accepting relationship develops others are merely, “they” or “them.” A good speaker eliminates this distance. “You,” become, “We,” and together, we are much more comfortable and open to send and receive communication.
Utilizing this insight, a public speaker enters into a conversation with the audience. The speaker may do all the actual talking but the audience is communicating too. Their messages are delivered with body language – leaning forward, receptively or, forbid it ever happen, yawning unselfconsciously! Audiences also radiate their thoughts on a more subtle level – a vibe is established – hopefully an open, receptive tone begins to flow. Whether we are aware of it or not, the thoughts of those we are speaking to influence how and how well we deliver our message – even what we say.
Standing before a genuinely interested and engaged audience can be intoxicating – pure magic for the speaker. Anyone who has had the experience of speaking to a receptive group, regardless of the size, knows that feeling, when the words simply begin to flow. Thoughts come effortlessly, and often as not unexpectedly. We find that we knew things that we didn’t know we knew!
How could this be? What’s at work here? Consider the dynamic. First, we love our self, then extend that love to our audience. “They” have become a big “We” – which is very very close to a single… Well, I hope you get the point as I’d rather not drift off into metaphysics. However, it should not be too much to say that by loving our neighbor, the individuals that make up any audience – by doing this we have fulfilled an important bit of instruction delivered to us by one of histories most influential public speakers. Yes, you know who I’m referring to!
So what is it you were saying? What is that burning message you want to deliver to your audience? Maybe, in a certain sense all our words – all our big ideas are best boiled down – or could be, if we thought about it. So much of what we think important could be reduced to something very simple. “I care about you.” “I think that life will go well for you if you understand some things I have to say.”
And it all start’s, according to Eva and that other guy – it’ start’s when we choose to love our selves and love others too.
For anyone in Sedona who is interested in learning to be an effective public speaker, two more sessions are scheduled. Contact Unity of Sedona for details
Eva Maurice is widely recognized as a Spiritual Teacher and Motivational/Spiritual Workshop Facilitator. She is also available by phone and Skype for individual Counseling sessions. She can be contacted through her web site: EvaMaurice.com