We speak before an audience every day, from the moment we are able to utter our very first word, until our last. While not everything we say is a speech per se, most of what we say will be addressed to an audience.
Thus, public speaking exercises a variety of skills from technical knowledge to voice control, intonation and pronunciation, non-verbal communication, coherence, eloquence, time management, social interaction, psychology, stage presence and, not in the least, self-awareness and self-mastery.
Becoming a better speaker means working on all these abilities. And, for us, it also means looking deep inside ourselves to find the spark that talks should be about. That special something, that is sometimes alchemy, and sometimes just honesty.
The words we hear and say change our reality, bit by bit.
Neuroscience has shown that the messages we are exposed to change our thoughts, and the thoughts we focus on most frequently create new neural pathways. Once these neural pathways become more and more established, by being activated repeatedly, they turn into neural super-highways: high-speed tracks that favor certain connections in favor of less established pathways, unless extra energy is spent. For example, learning a new habit: you will spend extra energy to acquire and master it, but once you have, it’s easy and you don’t think about it consciously any more. These neural super-highways determine our thought patterns, and, quite literally, change our brain (through neuroplasticity).
By the same token, the words we put out into the world produce ideas into the minds of those who listen to us; those ideas can become their thought patterns, and those thought patterns can become their habits.
Habits translate into who we are.
Who we are determines what we do – to each other, for each other, and in the world.
It’s therefore not only about our ability to use words to navigate reality, but about the responsibility we have, every time we speak before an audience, to put useful and meaningful ideas into the world.
We have no more time for boring or unhelpful talks – we need to start conversations that truly matter.
This project comes from the decision to consciously and intentionally contribute to more meaningful conversations. It is supported by a community of speakers and speaker coaches who share a desire for purposeful talks and bettering ourselves.
Talks can hold entire universes: group and private values, local and global contexts, individual and common histories. All framed by our words. And words generate thoughts, which become patterns, which influence habits, which translate into who we are, which determines what we do, which changes our world.
Words do change the world.
What do your words sound like?