When you become fit, you become fit for public speaking. Due to the plethora of information regarding healthy lifestyles and their correlation with public speaking, along with my personal experience in Parkour and public speaking, I think its due time to make a post about it.
The Analogy You Expected
The way we exercise our bodies is the same for public speaking. In order to have a fit body, we continuously hit the gym, hit the floor, hit the mat, and hit the weights. We all know that we can’t just workout once or twice a week and expect to see positive results. In order to exceed average public speaking skills, we have to give multiple speeches each week, we have to practice our tone, volume, and linguistics. For both, the list of practice methods are endless. The same goes for the results; with consistent training you become a key-note speaker or a certified ass-kicking machine. Just as well, the tips for staying motivated and consistent work for both. Here are the two simplified versions.
- Position, Plan, Execute - Evaluating yourself and where you stand on the line of success now, is how you can tell if you have made improvement later.Figuring out your position allows you to choose the techniques for the next step, planning. You have to plan out where you want to go, to get there. You cant expect to walk around aimlessly and find the “X” marks the spot treasure chest. By knowing where you are, you figure out where you want to be. In planning how to get there, you will get there, but you need to execute your plan. You have to follow the steps you set for yourself. You do so by following the next tip.
- Dangling Carrots and Maximizing Achievement - Regardless of your end goal, you wont get there unless you break it down into dozens of small goals with small rewards. For example, if my goal was to cook a meal for the top 10 richest people on the planet and “I” had to make it without the help of anyone else (yes the world can be cruel at times, better to expect hardship and be grateful for any help than to expect help and face the hardship of it not being there), I would make one dish at a time. I know that trying to make everything at once would end up a disaster, so I would break it up into small goals, small meals. In doing so, I am maximizing my achievement by putting 100% of my effort into the one dish instead of 10% of my effort into each dish. The real catch to accomplishing small goals, is the reward. I know the visual is typically a person that wants to lose weight and they are running on a treadmill with a donut hanging in front of them, but I am a health nut so I dangle carrots. Positive rewards to go after. As a result of finishing each dish, I will indulge myself by being the first one to enjoy its delishes-ness. After the first dish, I am ready for the next!
The Real Connection
Why is it that people fear public speaking more than physical pain?
It does not really matter, but if that is the case, I challenge you to experience positive physical pain: Workout. I guarantee that if you begin to exercise regularly, that your fear of public speaking will dissipate with each physical mark of progression you make. Not only that, but all your public speaking attributes will improve drastically. It is easier to understand the process by examining the connected benefits between working out and public speaking.
- Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy “the good feel hormones”
- Increases blood flow getting oxygen to your body, making you less fatigued and providing more mental and physical energy
- By working out you become more energetic and alert of your surroundings which results in the ability to make audience connections and impromptu comments
- “Whenever I am running, I am always thinking of things. When you’re running, the oxygen is like the ignition switch to great ideas” – Certified Personal Trainer
What The Sweat And Physical Exertion Boils Down To: A Stunned Audience
“Audiences like speakers who reflect good health and physical vitality. Research has shown that an audience associates a speaker’s well-being with the soundness of his or her verbal messages. So watch your diet and exercise regularly.” – Toastmasters manual on Gestures.
Do you recall learning that your appearance both creates and leaves the biggest impact on your audience. Speakers forget that their first impression is not the first sentence out of their mouths, it is their appearance and the way they walk up to give their speech. Having a fit lifestyle will promote a confident entrance to public speaking. Apart from the words you share, you will enjoy sharing your image, you will enjoy sharing your hard work (exercise) and the results – “Dayumm you look good. A person looking as good as you must have something important to share.”
Fact: The same part of the brain that keeps people from losing weight also keeps people from great wealth! – The Millionaire Mind
“Studies have shown that a mere 7% of the messages that we communicate to others are transmitted by the words we use verbally. Instead, 55% of communication is based on physiology: the way a person stands, whether or not he smiles, degree of eye contact and so forth. The remaining 38% of communication is in tone of voice. What is said must be consistent with how it is said [...] By subconsciously mirroring the physiology of others, a sensory message is sent to the brain, creating a similar emotional state. Therefore, health and fitness professionals who love their work, company, and clients and exhibit the body language that corresponds with these emotions positively affect the people around them. Because all sales decisions are ultimately made on emotion, having this effect on people can open the door to initiating the relationships that a successful career is built on.” – NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training
I would be doing this post an undeserving torture if I stopped here.
Richard Branson is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom and 254th richest person in the world, according to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, so his words cannot be taken lightly. Especially when he was asked what the quickest way to success was… He answered with one word “Workout”. Here are some other quotes by Richard Branson
“There’s an old saying: Look the part, and you’ll get the part. Well, more and more research is showing that people who are leaner and fitter are viewed as being more competent and successful than those who are overweight. And when people view you as competent, they are more likely to pay you what you deserve. Don’t believe me? Consider this: A New York University study found that people packing an extra 40 pounds make 20 percent less than their slimmer colleagues” – Eat This Not That, David Zinczenko
To end this post, I have to add another passion of mine that hopefully you have read my other posts on: Parkour
Ah, Sweet Ol’ Parkour
One of the greatest Parkour founders,Châu Belle, explains it is a “type of freedom” or “kind of expression”; that Parkour is “only a state of mind” rather than a set of actions, and that it is about overcoming and adapting to mental and emotional obstacles as well as physical barriers
You have to master your mind to master Parkour. And what do you need to master in order to master public speaking? That’s correct, your mind.
I would like to add that you not only have to master your mind, but your body – your movements. Just like public speaking, Parkour requires precise movements of the body in succession to mental stimulants. Can you see the correlation with gestures? It is as simple as that.
Just one more reason to try Parkour.
Stay Positive and High In Existence
Garth E. Beyer