When it comes to public speaking one of the main dilemmas people face is whether to speak from their heart or their head. A lot of people tend to go for the latter option. However, this can prove to be a significant mistake. Of course there is no denying that you need to know your material like the back of your hand. However, the delivery of this information should come from your heart.
Words without meaning don’t hold power. They don’t captivate those in attendance and have the impact desired. On the other hand, if you speak from your heart, you can be certain that people will listen to you. They will learn from you and it is more likely that they will buy from you too – if this is indeed the end goal.
When you speak from your head you tell the audience what you believe they want to hear. It may have a good short term impact, but this does not help in the long run. You are not being honest and it does nothing to distinguish you from any other speaker in your field. However, when you speak from the heart you are truthful and this ultimately shines through.
So, what’s the difference between the two approaches? When you speak from your heart you will be more conversational with your method. This translates as you being more approachable and relatable. You develop a personal connection, as the audience appreciate and value your openness. The true stories you relay during your presentation will help to solidify this connection.
On the other hand, when you speak from the head you are essentially relaying memorised words. You are talking at your audience, rather than to them. They won’t believe that you are genuine or that you care about them. It will be difficult to get a reaction from your audience because you are essentially performing, whereas if you speak from the heart you are communicating.
All in all, public speaking is a conversation, not a performance. The only way to converse is to speak from your heart, as your emotions will be perceived. You will then notice reactions from your audience – from a nod of the head, to a laugh, to even the furrowing of the brow. This shows you are communicating effectively, and thus will give you the confidence that you are on the right track.
If you need help with this issue, or anything else related to voice confidence and public speaking, get in touch with Vocal Integrity. Whatever your age or situation, our experienced team of experts can help you to use your head but speak with your heart.
Maureen’s reading of poems is always well received by the listeners of the Beacon Talking Newspaper.
Martyn B, Beacon Centre for the Blind