Speak from the Heart


heart-29328_640What does Valentine's Day have to do with public speaking? It's all about giving out hearts. On February 14th we give out chocolate hearts but public speakers give their emotional hearts. What is speaking from the heart? It's about being real, speaking with genuine feeling, sharing emotions and telling your story. In the workplace, most people speak from the head. They offer a lot of facts and figures but their presentations may soon be forgotten. That's because people are moved to action by feelings, not by facts.

Why talk from the heart?  You'll feel happier and more relaxed because you're being yourself. It takes a lot of energy to hide behind a mask of perfection. The audience will be more engaged when you open up communication. When they feel your heart, they get in touch with their own hearts. As Marianne Williamson wrote,  "As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." And that emotional connection makes you more memorable.

How can you talk from the heart in the workplace without losing credibility? Talking from the heart is not about getting carried away by emotions. It's about being passionate, using humor, and sharing your successes and challenges so the audience  can relate to your humanity.

Recently, a health care company's data base was hacked. Here is what the CEO said in the email: "Our own associates’ personal information – including my own – was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data." The personal reference made the message more heartfelt.

When a leader speaks from the heart, taking the audience on a journey through the peaks and valleys, it humanizes that speaker. When hearts are touched, perfect presentation skills become secondary. The audience doesn't remember the performance, they remember you.

Provide high value content and speak from the heart.That is the very best presentation. As Nelson Mandela said,

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination ."