As a public speaker, you want to have an impact, ‘to change the world’? Great! You can do so from inside.
So, what does this mean: ‘from inside’?
It’s not what you are consciously aware of. Notably, what people are consciously aware of is only a fraction of what they are ‘unconsciously aware of’.
So, what does this mean: ‘unconsciously aware of’?
Take yourself in the present moment. You are ‘unconsciously aware of’ an immense amount of data about your surroundings. Of all this, you are consciously aware of only a few elements that you can indicate and name. Most data entering your brain do not reach consciousness.
So it also is, dear Speaker, with your Listeners.
Yet what has an impact upon people is not so much what reaches their consciousness. It’s even – much – more what does not reach that pinnacle, but what does reach your audience in a deeper layer and at the same time has meaning to them.
This is: deep meaning, not to be found in a look-up list.
In a speaker’s talk, one can discern two things:
- the purely conceptual information: for this, one can read a webpage or a hand-out sheet,
- the deeper meaning.
The second is your heart. This is what makes an impact upon your audience, what makes them feel motivated to make a difference, towards themselves and their surroundings.
You are what changes the world through others.
It’s best to try and let as little as possible stand between you and your audience. ‘Being close to your audience’ is the best way to change them. It’s also the best way to feel something transcendent going on. This can only happen in a durable way if it comes from inside, transcending your consciousness.
Take for instance: storytelling.
Contrary to many a speaker’s opinion, it’s not about the story. People are not through genes and ancestry some kind of story consumers by nature. Storytelling is heart-telling. In telling a story, you can let emotions come from deep inside yourself and bring them to your audience in a spontaneous, heart-felt (sic) way. You don’t bring the story. You bring you. As soon as you stop bringing you, your story is meaningless. The audience might still be attentive but they are not touched, not changed. If you feel that your story has lost inner life to you, it’s the same to your audience. Then you better find another story.
If the story doesn’t change you, change the story.
Because real change comes from inside. Being changed from outside is like how a sponge reacts when you stick your finger in it. The moment you pull your finger out, there is the same sponge as before. This may not always be obvious, but it’s the hard truth. You do not change anything this way, at long term.
A positively durable impact only comes from a change from inside. The sponge grows. Plants grow. Animals grow. People grow. Maybe more difficult to grasp: even when the latter die, they keep growing: in others, in a better society… in having made a lasting impact.
It’s one way to become immortal.
Only your heart, your ‘poetry’ can change the world.
Thus, dear reader-listener, I hope with this little text to have made some positive impact upon you…
Can you let me know?