Speakers and Athletes, what do they have in Common?
As we approach the 2017 NCAA Final Four games this weekend, my thoughts turn to the dedicated hours of practice, training, and discipline that allowed these athletes to have a successful winning season. This granted each team their due reward. It’s similar to speaking. Each speech gives us the opportunity to practice our discipline and rehearse, so that we can deliver our message with peak performance to our audience. I don’t think it’s a stretch to make the comparison of speaker and athlete when it comes to performance. Both need to train and stay healthy in order to perform at a high level.
What does it take to stay healthy and in top shape for our performances?
- Maintain good nutrition habits. Proper nutrition is the foundation for a healthy body, for an athlete as well as a speaker. Although eating healthily while traveling for speaking engagements can pose a challenge, strive for meals that contain vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid the junk food.
- Stay hydrated. An athlete must maintain optimal hydration status in order for his/her body to perform at its peak, a speaker must also stay hydrated to ensure his/her vocal chords remain moist. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Minimize caffeine and alcohol as they can be dehydrating.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep ensures that an athlete has energy to compete, and that a speaker has high energy on the stage. Not getting enough sleep can also strain your voice, which is your main instrument for your craft.
- Engage in a warm-up before the performance. As an athlete warms-up their limbs and muscles before the big game, vocal warm-up exercises can strengthen your voice and improve your vocal resonance and inflection. Warm up your voice by humming, stretching, and yawning. For more vocal warm-up exercises, click here: https://youtu.be/Eub7MzfsbdM
A healthy body, and in particular, a healthy voice, are essential in delivering an engaging presentation.
How do you stay in top shape for your speaking performances?
I was recently interviewed by Paula Okenneh who produces Chatting with the Experts podcast. Yes, podcasting is a form of public speaking.
Listen here: How To Become an Expert Speaker
She and I will be collaborating this spring on a few new projects – stay tuned!