May 18, 2010 fm

The Meditating Goldfish

Source: kilroyart.deviantart.com

The other day I was talking to an English book store lady in Barcelona. She flipped through my book and stopped at ‘Step 5: The Conqueror of Fatigue’. She frowned in this acknowledging way and revealed to me that in most books on public speaking and communication the topic ‘voice’ was not covered at all.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Close your eyes and enter your room of memories. Do you see yourself at this last congress? Do you see the speakers? Do you hear the speakers? Can you listen to their tone?

Monotonous!!! Nine out of ten speakers spoke in that annoying monotonous lulling tone… Listening to a meditating goldfish is more exciting!

You may wake up now.

One of the most powerful weapons in your everlasting battle against audience fatigue is your voice.

On stage your voice cannot follow the horizontal line of the Midwest. On stage your voice must be sitting on a Bush Gardens roller coaster ride: Up, down, left, right, panic, butterflies, relieve…

And just before panic takes your voice hostage – on the peak of tension, just before the coaches go down – you place a long, beautiful… pause for Mark Twain once said: “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

Think about it, how do you argue with your partner in a supermarket? How do you ask for more beer at a house party standing in front of an empty fridge? How do you make comments during a bachelor night?

Fact is your voice is already riding that roller coaster. You just have to let it pass through the stage.

You don’t want to be a meditating goldfish. You want to ride a roller coaster, and your audience does too.

How about your voice?

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