Emotion is at the heart of all inspiring speech. If you are new to public speaking this can be difficult to understand – after all, you don’t want to look stupid or be undermined by expressing your inner-most feelings and thoughts to an often sceptical, judgemental world?
Yet, history reminds you it is only when public speakers are fully aware of their emotions that they become inspiring to listen to and watch. Consider the following examples:
- Socrates in 399BC at the court in Athens when speaking passionately in defence of his now renowned Socratic Method of thinking;
- Patrick Pearse, founder member of The Irish Volunteers, in Dublin in 1915 delivering an intensely personal and highly charged graveside eulogy to O’Donovan Rossa – the inspirational figure behind the Irish freedom movement;
- Martin Luther King Jr in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial inspiring a nation and future generations by speaking from the heart, regaling his audience with “I have a dream!”
To become such an inspiring speaker demands artistry, the ability to tell a compelling story, to sense and somehow externalise the moods and emotions within as professional actors do. And, as if this were not enough, you are expected to be fully in control from the beginning through the middle to your ultimate conclusion.
If public speaking is a challenge for you, if you feel too tense and unable to open-up, if you really want to get something off your chest but don’t know where to start, it’s time to learn from the history books, it’s “Time to get EMOTIONAL!”
The Speakers College