“As none can see the wind but in its effects on the trees, neither can we see the emotions but in their effects on the face and body.”~ Nathaniel LeTonnerre.
Isn’t this a wonderful thought, put to words so eloquently? The quote speaks to the very heart of our work at Laurie Burton Training. Helping others to learn how to embrace an emotional point of view for better public speaking, more powerful presentations and communication in general, is central to our training process.
Making sure that the words you speak and the emotions behind them are expressed though your voice, face and body is what sets the true pro apart from the rest and makes the message memorable.
In a previous blog on passion and the five senses, I talked about how to begin to rediscover and embrace your senses to become familiar with your emotional and passionate responses.
There is a reason I’m so passionate about what I do!
Another way of accessing your emotions, which we’ll look at now, has to do more with the innate side of your emotional life; the emotions that have existed in you since infancy. They are inherent to your character and an important part of Presenting You when facing an audience.
It’s time to decide which parts of your basic, internal emotional life work for you – and which parts work against you. You actually do get to choose!
For example, if you have been afraid your whole life of speaking up, taking part and joining in, then it’s helpful to really look at how much that has cost you.
• Are you willing to open up that part of you and share your joy?
• When something happens that you don’t like, do you merely let it fester inside?
• Are you ready to finally start speaking up for yourself?
(Did you notice anything about what I just wrote here? I didn’t refer to other people, did I?)
I’m sure you’ve heard something similar to this before, but I want to emphasize it again – you must do the work! Keep in mind, it does not have to be major work, in fact, I think that would be asking too much of people. Instead, start with the small steps. And don’t worry…small steps, when taken in succession, add up to great strides.
Developing an emotional Point of View
Developing an emotional point of view is a deceptively simple thing to do and is a way of practicing your ‘sensory response’ to anything. Ultimately, it leads to establishing a long list of passions, which will then feed your emotional life and provide the foundation for making a great speech and speaking with passion and emotion.
Naturally, all this comes with practice.
The Emotional Point of View Exercise to help you better understand the emotional point of view.
Wherever you are right now, look up and focus on something. It doesn’t matter what object you pick; whatever your eyes land on is fine. What is your first response to it? Don’t think; simply notice how you feel about the object. You must come up with an answer – right now! Don’t “try and figure out” how you feel, trust and note your first response.
Here is an example of how the process works: I’m sitting in my office right now, writing, and I look up: the first things I see are leaves on the tree outside my window.
• I ask myself, “How do I feel about those leaves?”
• I notice that I feel peaceful when I look at those leaves and then I notice all the different shades of green in a particular leaf.
• I notice that I’m amazed that one leaf can have so many different shades of green.
Now, I look to my left. The first thing I see is my tabletop lamp.
• I ask myself again, “How do I feel about that lamp?”
• My response is that I like this lamp.
• I especially like the kind of light it gives.
Next, I turn my head to the right and I see the wallpaper. Once again:
• I ask myself, “How do I feel about this wallpaper?”
• My response is that I don’t like this wallpaper anymore. It’s boring.
Finally, I turn around and the first thing I see is my dog, Roxie.
• I love this dog.
• I love her coloring.
• I’m struck by how beautiful she is.
• And so on…
This exercise can be practiced at anytime, anywhere and is so effective for better public speaking.
Try it yourself, wherever you are at this moment. How do you feel about the world around you? What you’re doing is becoming aware of your specific emotional responses to things. This knowledge and awareness subtly, but surely, builds self-confidence and self-esteem.
The more you establish your emotional point of view, the more you will develop an ability to express yourself. This leads to a higher sense of self and, eventually, a greater freedom to express yourself…
• any time
• in any way that you want
• to anyone that you wish
It will greatly improve your ability to connect with an audience of one, one-hundred, or one- thousand, which is one great reason to embrace an emotional point of view!