On my morning walk this morning ( a great time for thinking!) I was watching a rowing team on the Yarra River. I would suggest they were “newbies” by the way the oars were catching the water and splashing, or missing the water completely. The cox was giving instructions and although the ladies may have had better results by looking straight ahead and listening to the instructions, some of them were turning their heads to watch the oars. The ladies who turned their heads did not have the best technique and were not getting the results they wanted.
When I lived in Mildura a few years ago, I followed my dream of learning to row on the Murray River. I loved that I could row up the River and watch the sunrise as a way of exercising and getting myself into the right mindset for the day, or rowing of an evening and watching the sunset as a way or relaxing after a day at work.
I was very fortunate to meet and spend time with a gentleman who had rowed for the Thames Club in London. He was a passionate mentor and spoke from his heart. He spoke of feeling the skull with the souls of your feet and to practice this until you do not have to strap your feet in but merely keep them on the foot rests. Then he suggested that once you had learnt the correct technique, to look straight ahead and listen and trust that you know how to position your back, how to reach out your arms and how to roll your wrists. If you are doing all of this, the oars will drop into the water at the precise angle and flow through the water at the right depth, and sweep over the water at the correct height. All in all, you will have the right technique and style without thinking about it, but rather feeling and trusting.
You may ask what this has to do with public speaking, well I believe you can apply this to anything in life. Learn the technique that is best to use, practice it until you don’t have to think about it and then give everything you have learnt, everything you know and even more from a position of trust and from your heart. Tap into your heart space and give it all you have … and then dig a little more deeply and give some more.
You will be amazed when you trust and give from the heart, how you connect with your audience, generally improve connections with those around you, improve your relationships, improve teamwork, improve anything you put your mind to.