By guest blogger Lisa Evans BSc. MBA, Distinguished Toastmaster, Public Speaking coach/trainer and Core Fusion Pilates fan.
The beautiful posture that you will achieve by attending regular Pilates classes has many benefits. The long, lean, look and feel; the strong core to keep your spine healthy and that lovely toned feeling! What does Pilates have to do with Public Speaking?
As a public speaker, I find that having a strong core and a correct posture also has great benefits for my voice. If I have an important speaking event coming up I always find the time to squeeze in an extra Pilates class at Core Fusion beforehand.
Pilates breathing allows for good voice projection
A good posture and correct alignment of the spine is essential in public speaking. When we stand upright in a neutral position, we allow for maximum lung expansion and therefore adequate oxygenation to the vital organs. With the correct spinal alignment we can grow tall and take wonderful full breaths which allow for good voice projection and sound. By planting our feet firmly on the ground with evenly distributed weight, we can avoid rocking or swaying which are common traits that public speakers often do without realizing.
Stay grounded, stand tall and make each breath count. That is what I repeat as part of my preparation prior to a speech and I put into practice the principles and techniques that I have learned at Pilates classes.
If a speaker has poor posture they will inevitably have a poor voice which can manifest as a lack of modulation, inability to project the voice and this also leads to more energy being used due to shallow breathing. If you stand with your shoulders up around your ears or look down towards your feet, your ribs will sink in, your diaphragm will push down on your organs and your lungs will not be able to fully expand. By taking shallow breaths you will not be able to sound your best, your voice will be weak and you will tire easily during your speech.
Pilates classes will teach you the necessary techniques required for effective breathing – while doing Pilates breathing I am able to fill up every available space in my lungs with fresh air. When I use my Pilates breathing prior to a speech, I am able to calm my nervousness and focus my energy and I am able to project my voice with ease.
Visualise your perfect posture and hear your strong voice
At the end of each Pilates session when the instructor is talking the class through the final roll down and energy breaths, I use this time to visualize. I close my eyes; I see myself standing tall in front of my audience with perfect posture and correct breathing. I see myself tall and elegantly poised with a confident air, and I hear my voice powerfully reaching the back of the room effortlessly.
As well as all the other benefits of the Pilates method, try Pilates to help you improve your public speaking. With practice, you will not only have better posture; you will also have a stronger voice. What does Pilates have to do with Public Speaking? Good posture = strong voice
I am Lisa Evans the founder of Speaking Savvy. I teach people to communicate with courage and present with power and influence. For most people public speaking does not come naturally and for many it causes stress and anxiety. With a friendly and supportive environment I conduct small workshops, 1:1 mentoring and corporate training for people who want to learn to speak in public with ease and confidence.
Contact me on 0438 902042 to find out how I can help you learn to improve your public speaking. www.speakingsavvy.com.au