Many speaking coaches will tell presenters to "vary their tone". The problem with this kind of coaching is that it leads to "outside in" behavior. The presenter starts to raise and lower his/her voice and gesture "creatively" simply for the purpose of variety. The result: an inauthentic delivery style and self consciousness on the platform.
The fact is, variation will arrive organically when you are truly connected to your material and you are -- as we say in the acting world -- in the moment.
Just think of how a kid tells a story when they're excited or in a state of wonder.
I had an Alexander Technique teacher years ago who used to say "let, allow, permit" when it came to how we moved on stage.
The same is true for speaking. Rather than force a tone, let it happen organically. On top of this, it's critical that you are connected to what you are saying so that you never are out of sync with your content. Quiet moments should elicit a quiet tone. Excited moments should bring an excited tone.
But all this will come if you structure your presentation so that you have a full spectrum of experiences within it and then you reconnect with those experiences. If you do, you will have more variety than you can possibly imagine because inside of you is a full prism of colored light just waiting to shine.
Think back on a great speech you've heard. Did you notice if the speaker stumbled on a word or said "um" a few times? I'll bet you'd rather have someone who messed up but had a heartfelt & believable message than a phony speaker who had every word perfect.
Below is a previous blog post I wrote around New Years Eve, resolutions and planning for the new year. I wanted to share it again with you as the themes and message still ring true.
As we approach the transition into the New Year and recognize that it is not far away, what
projects come to mind? What would you like to
accomplish? What is the metaphorical marathon you would like
This month and particularly on Dec 31, many people will be making a list of plans and of New Year's resolutions. The key, though, is to determine if those really are the resolutions and visions you care most about.
We live in an "outside in" culture, unconsciously setting up goals that have often been established for us by our social circle, society, business, or industry. It can become, as the great psychoanalyst Karen Horney called it, "The Tyranny of the Shoulds".
But what really matters to you? What ideas and visions resonate for you? What makes your heart sing?
Fulfilling a large goal can be like running a marathon, but if your plans are aligned with your true purpose and passion, the going won't be quite so tough. And wouldn't it be cool if when you finally cross that finish line, it's for your true vision vs. someone else's or what you thought you "should" do?
I'm tired of those who say you have to decide which talent to pursue. We live in a world now where you can COMBINE and harness the full spectrum of who you are and what you've got.
You just need a bit of courage, imagination and determination.
No doubt, it's far easier (though ultimately more painful) to tone yourself down than it is to dig deep and combine and celebrate what you have.
But the truth is, landmark success doesn't come from running with the pack and shaving off parts of who you are to fit into a mold.
Landmark success results from taking risks; and risk requires exploration, creativity and the courage to trust that the integration of talents -- those with which you are inherently gifted -- will produce extraordinary results. This is the foundation of The Prism Effect. It is the foundation of all great lives, great businesses and great works of art. And you...are a work of art.
Agree? Feel free to comment and/or join our community...
One of the core tenants of my coaching is exactly this: the power of "the idea that might lead to the idea."
In developing new material or even in revamping old, this is critical. We so often get stuck in old patterns of thinking and when get that flash -- that creative impulse (however wacky) -- it is worth paying attention to.
I believe this is your creative genius at work.
When I start working with a new client, I always explain the importance of this -- of not tossing out any ideas too soon. This gives them freedom to brainstorm without fear of judgment and often what follows is a client will say that day or at a future session, "OK. I know this is kind of strange. But it could be 'the idea that leads to the idea.'" And we are off and running.
So...let's look at that as it applies to your next interaction in which the topic always feels kind of the same in tone, content and delivery: perhaps it's a weekly staff meeting, an annual convention, a regular get together with some family members or friends at which things are always "kind of the same."
What's your wild idea to shake things up? Begin by saying quietly to yourself, "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" and see where your imagination takes you.