How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I don’t speak in front of people, because it’s too much pressure.” Or how about, “I get sick just thinking about it.” For many, the approach to public speaking is far from positive. But I have found that a colorful approach can be just the ticket that improves nearly anyone’s presentation skills.
I imagine that for most of us, the fear of public speaking began at a very young age, quite likely when we had to go to the front of the class for the very first time. Perhaps it was to read, present, or communicate something about which we were studying – a harmless classroom activity, yet traumatizing to many.
Were we born with this fear of public speaking? It probably seems that way. Of course, the reverse of this fear factor seems to exist in those who just love being the center of attention.
The ‘hams’ of the classroom may have had less fear of public speaking, due to their colorful approach to life.
Those who are comfortable with what I call “finding their home base” (the ability to feel comfortable in one’s own skin) are able to “wear” his or her personality with ease and confidence. Have you noticed that such people never appear to feel at the mercy of an audience?
Instead, these types can freely express themselves with any emotion. It’s as if they have become a human coloring box when they speak, present or communicate, with all the colors of emotion at their disposal. I visualize this enormous (emotional) crayon box, containing rows and rows of gorgeous colors, which somehow provides them an emotional response to any color, giving them a dynamic range of expression.
People, who have developed this skill, have the power to lead, inspire and connect in a potent and compelling way.
Take a colorful approach to improving your public speaking skills with this exercise:
Let’s try an exercise to demonstrate the power of color behind words, using the word ‘proud’.
- Stand in front of a mirror.
- Envision the color red.
- Say the word proud, letting the color red influence the way you say the word.
- Now envision the color brown.
- Looking into the mirror, say the word “proud,” letting the color brown influence your meaning behind the word.
Let’s say you have a sales presentation that you are preparing. Following the above exercise, pick a color that you think will match the overall feeling that you want to convey in your speech. Would you pick red? Red would be a fiery, passionate presentation. Navy blue might make the speech more serious, while retaining a measure of warmth.
You can even pick a different color for each line or paragraph in your speech that has a different meaning. Lastly, use the different colors to emphasize individual words. For instance, you might like to use the color yellow to introduce yourself and maybe a deep purple to end your speech.
This is yet another, more colorful approach to public speaking; A new tool to add to the list of presentation skills you can use that contribute to your success as a speaker, presenter and communicator.
Have you ever used a colorful approach such as mentioned above when speaking publicly? If so, I would love to hear about it! Share your story in the comments below.