A Public Speaker’s Heart-Felt Impact

February 8, 2018 Public Speaking No Comments

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, 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 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.

‘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. Storytelling is heart-telling. You can let emotions come from deep inside and bring them to your audience in a spontaneous 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. If you feel that your story has lost inner life to you, it’s the same to your audience.

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 you do not change anything this way, at long term.

A positively durable impact only comes from inside. The sponge grows. Plants grow. Animals grow.

People grow.

Maybe more difficult to grasp: even when you die, you can keep growing: in others, in a better society… in having made a lasting impact.

Only your heart, your ‘poetry’ can change the world.

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