How to unlock your true self and speak from the heart on all stages of your life?
Here’s an example of a tool I’ve developed which you may find extremely easy to practice, one that also gives you tangible and immediate results. I call this the “Double Extreme” technique.
Once upon a time in the mid 90’s, I was asked to be the featured speaker for a combined group of Toastmaster clubs on the East Coast of the United States. In front of the whole group, one speaker came up and described a challenge he was having in presenting to audiences. He told me that he had a nervous habit of tapping his right foot uncontrollably whenever he spoke, and he felt uncomfortably self-conscious about this.
Following the Double Extreme principles, I first encouraged him to exaggerate the tapping of his right foot when he was making a simple statement he often used, over and over. I asked him to “Monty Python” it and gave him permission to ridiculously tap that foot as never before.
Well, instead of feeling self-conscious as he used to when he was judging himself in front of audiences, this man suddenly stopped tapping his foot — once he had permission to do what he felt was wrong and had fun doing it, an ‘Ah Ha’ moment emerged. Out of the blue, he said, “You know I’ve been a concert pianist all my life, and when I play the piano, I tap my right foot, too!?”
Ah Ha! In that moment of realisation, I asked him to then imagine that the whole room was a piano and to note anything different about the way he used his right foot if he incorporated this in connecting with his audience. Suddenly, when he next presented his material, he no longer felt a need to tap his foot, as he was now playing the room and connecting with the audience in a newly engaging way.
How does this example apply to you? What unconscious habits and idiosyncrasies get in the way of connecting fully with yourself, your messaging and your audience? What communication do these habits reveal that your body-mind is accustomed to saying, under the surface of your outer words and what people hear and see with your physical delivery?
For instance, if you have the habit of holding your hands together or wringing them while delivering your message, exaggerate this same pattern –– then do the opposite –– repeating this process a few times, making each time a bit more exaggerated than the time before…Then notice in allowing yourself to the practice of practice the “best of both,” that you are now able to be more connected, congruent and in rapport with yourself and your audience.
Write down below one example of a repetitive behaviour pattern that has been distracting you as you speak..
Practice the DOUBLE EXTREME TECHNIQUE with this chosen pattern, and then write down what shifts you notice after you allow yourself to experience the “best of both” extremes of this pattern.
How does this practice of bringing out the “best of both extremes” give you more ease in delivering your messages with greater authenticity, and awaken your natural style of communicating “as you’ve always wanted to be?