One of the things that people have often asked me about in regards to their presenting of all forms is how can they get better at speaking spontaneously, without having to lean as much on a script on a teleprompter, notes, or something in their hand. Or another word for that, might be intuitively.
To be clear though, what I'm speaking to today, is the seeming ease with which world Leading Thoughtleaders like Brene Browne can get up and seemingly, as they put it, with little preparation, pull out something to say that makes complete sense and is completely useful and relevant to almost everyone listening. (As separate to the actual mechanisms of how we get better at intuitive communication.)
While it might be easy to hear them say that and think that we should all be able to just get up and wing it well, with the same ease and brilliance, in practice, it's actually a little more complex than that. The world class Speakers of the world didn't actually just pop out that way. There is a journey, a process that had to happen over a period of time first, seperate to taking dozens of public speaking or leadership courses about improving your communication, leadership, presentation skills and delivery.
How is that the world leading Speakers of the world can get up and, seemingly, spontaneously deliver something about their subject matter, but that something comes out sounding so world class?
Here's a video below that I recently recorded about the evolutionary journey leading up to that point. Along with a model that sums up the stages I'm talking about in the video, for ease of following along.
1- Ad lib
The journey kind of begins here. Remember back in school, those times where you first had to get up and give a talk to the room? Some might have prepared a little and had some cue cards. Others might have avoided it as long as they could and then got up and tried to ad lib their way through it. This can just as much represent the times where we're asked, out of nowhere, to get up and say a few words impromptu. Either way, it's the starting place where we may not yet have much either preparation or conscious awareness behind us in regards to the topic and hand. And, when we get up, either something great intuitively comes out, to our surprise, or, in the post analysis, we might feel a bit like we just rambled and jumped all over the place with lots of details...ad lib.
IF we ramble, it can be because both we haven't yet explored how the concepts or all the info we know about fits and relates together, and or the parts of our brain and nervous system concerned with self protection and our intuitive and higher processing faculties can be out of sync here. Our thoughts, fears and sensations might speak louder than the voice of the message some higher part of us is trying to impart here.
Essentially, in the above phase, we might not have finished "getting the download" yet on what we're trying to speak about....and how does it pan out when you try and run a program on a device that's only 50% downloaded? You've kind of got to finish the download to be able to run the program.
Depending on what profession or modality we hail from though, the word download might also be interchangeable with the words 'experience' or 'discovery'. It's the stage where you're:
-opening up to the conscious exploration of either what you know about a subject
-experiencing something "down in the trenches," going through an experience personally for the first time.
-getting the download on what might be needed for you to, for example, teach or facilitate in a group workshop session
-starting out needing to do the initial research to test an hypothesis, like Brene starting with an hypothesis and her training, own perspective and research on what evidence other people found about a topic, before going out and surveying or interviewing a heap of subjects to gather evidence for or against that particular Reseach question or statement, before she could later do the data analysis, write up her findings and later share them with others in her field.
Ideally, it's good to get this discovery phase done, before we try and take the gold from it to the audience. If we haven't fully found it yet, then they end up having to help us dig for ours, while the intention of the 4th phase (below), is actually what can we do and share to help them find theirs? First must come clarity.
The gold in our experience gets clearer if we've had some time to reflect upon, analyse and draw conclusions from what just happened or what information we gathered, while getting the download. And or had some time to categorise and systematise the various aspects of the download, to help, in more simple and clear terms, articulate the gold from it, for speaking, facilitation and teaching purposes.
That might involve not only ordering a lot of data into workable forms. And forms that can be understood by a wide variety of people. But after that, once we've decided who it's relevant to/who we can help with it, also transferring it in to a presentation format, facilitation or teaching plan we can then deliver in a fixed amount of time.
Because there is often a period of time in our journey before we decide we're going to transfer our insight or knowledge gained through experience back to others in service, then the next stage relates to the decisions we make and intentions we set relating to how we can show up and be of service, using our knowledge and experience gained prior.
Part of that happens prior to setting up the space and then part of that unfolds live IN the space, spontaneously, in response to the audience themselves, their unique set of needs, aspirations and the state they arrive in on the day.
This is where the intuitive intelligence part comes back in, in being useful on the day to help us attune to, communicate with and best serve the audience. And it's a part of what helps us bring it all together to reach the final stage, where everything I mentioned in the stages prior, is integrated in together, to form the final, functioning whole experience you see delivered spontaneously and well, in a world class kind of way, from the stages of both world leading experts and the awesome Speakers, Facilitators and Trainers around us alike.
Finally, you get to the stage, where you see the Brene's of the world on stage, delivering their piece, spontaneously, based on a certain topic, within a certain timeframe. But the great paradox/contradiction of all this is that what looks "spontaneous", is actually the sum of years of going through this journey process again and again, combined with the level of leadership, presentation and interpersonal communication skill that goes with decades of experience in her fields.
She has had years of building her knowledge in her area of expertise to being an inch wide and several miles deep. Because she's had to analyse, systemise and communicate her findings so often, what she knows is now well ordered and the thought pathways to do with it in her brain are well established, so that she thinks and then communicates ideas according to the well ordered system she has created.
When she then speaks, in response to intellectually and empathically tuning into what is needed on the day, it then appears to be intuitive, easy, spontaneous and the ideas are clear and easy to comprehend. But the paradox, the contradictory thing about the "spontaneity" is that it actually looks that way, due to years of practice and integration of all the experience and wisdom gained from the prior stages, into the final holistic process. AND because she's a an intuitive Speaker.
Likewise, with world renowned Channellers and Spiritual teachers, even though what they do is regarded as intuitive and spontaneous, when you take a deeper look at how and what they're presenting, notice that there is also actually still a high degree of stage 3 systematic methodology, within the information they "channel" and then bring into the workshop or speaking space and share. Take Esther Hicks channeling Abraham for example. There is a system and a journey that both Esther speaking as Esther and Esther speaking as Abraham utilise to communicate with audience participants, relative to where they're at and what they need to do on the journey of manifestation (downloaded by Esther and Jerry, her late husband decades prior and refined over time, along with their team.)
So, even though they're operating in each workshop space from stages 4 and 5, to be of service to each audience "spontaneously", as Esther is tuning into how they can be of service to audience members in the present moment using the mechanisms of intuitive communication well, the answers still come relative to their content system, which actually makes communication of the necessary download, so clear and simple. By way of intuitive intelligence helping bring all the moving parts together, into the whole, seemingly 'perfect' universal flow of things you see on the recordings of their events.
They both are and aren't completely spontaneous after all. But having done the work of the prior stages, it then gets easier to get up and speak spontaneously and be a clear channel for the form the information and process needs to take now in the moment, to best be of service.
Bringing it back to how this all relates to anyone who might be reading this and the next small steps you can take right now to move in the direction of being able to get up and spontaneously, intuitively speak on a topic well (and become less reliant on scripts on teleprompter/device, reading notes or cue cards in your hands) here's a quick 5 min video with a 5 step process you can do in your own time, in the privacy of your own lounge room or office. Which can be used too as a basis for exploring, clarifying and structuring what awesome wisdom is sitting waiting in the recesses of your consciousness, waiting to be unleashed, for the good of the world.
Questions? Comments? Know someone who might benefit from this content? Feel free to share. For a chance to practice your virtual spontaneous public speaking in a safe, supportive space, you might also wish to join us for the below event:
Until next time....
Nat talks about Self Expression, Heart Centred Communication and Lifestyle for Leaders.