The Art of Being Real

Naturalness is defined as...

    Something that is a part of or produced by nature. One dictionary as an example used a natural pearl. From there the definition goes farther to describe what is ordinary to or the course of nature.

    It would be something inherent, something not produced artificially or conditioned. Perhaps you can already see a problem with this definition.

Deconstructing the Definition

    If you are one who loves to deconstruct text, then you will see the problem. Any speaker who is shy, dry, and monotone in every day life would be challenging to listen to for any length of time. So the speech quality of speaking naturally is not referring to speaking in every day speech.

    The definition goes further to describe being free of artificiality, affectation or inhibitions and being characterized by spontaneity.

    So it is in this sense that speakers need to strive to be natural.

Naturalness Requires

    To be natural requires being neither overly formal or overly familiar with the audience. Dignity needs to be maintained in both what we say and our decorum or how we present ourselves.

    This speech skill is not meant to give approval to use slang. Proper pronunciation and diction is still required of speech mastery. Nor is it free license to be sloppy. We should strive for constant and never ending improvement in all our communications.

Easy concept, hard to master

    The concept of giving a speech in the same manner we speak may seem easy, yet it is difficult to master. There is something about being in front of people that causes us to feel the need to do things differently.

    The next time you are talking to a group of friends, especially if you’re in an engrossing conversation, note how everyone is speaking to one another. More importantly note how you are. Now, remember that feeling. Make a mental note of it. Picture it as a portrait of you speaking.

    Now take that picture, the recorded image and start to see yourself not sitting, rather standing to have a conversation with a group of friends. Take that feeling and start to picture those you’re going to be in the audience as that group of friends. Talk with the same warmth and feeling that you would interact with those friends and you will be on your way to speech mastery.

    On your way? There are still some challenges that could hinder your progress.

    What could hinder our mastery of the speech quality of naturalness?

The Balance

    Naturalness is managing balance. Balance of spontaneity, not being overly formal or overly familiar. Balance being alive and fresh with maintaining dignity and proper decorum. How do we accomplish this?

Overly Precise Wording.

    Using appropriate words in the presentation is important to reaching the audience.

    The challenge lies in giving so much attention to this detail that the speaker becomes stiff, formalistic. It results in some needing to even read the speech such as some do with teleprompter. The resulting loss of sound real. This results in a loss of attention of some of the audience.

    The solution lies in giving attention to the concept and thoughts and not the exact wording. This can be done by using an outline instead of a manuscript or various types of manuscripts we may create. If the areas of your speeches that require exact use of words are few, being natural will be easier to attain. The goal is to be free of artificiality, affectation.

    So if you do not talk overly precise in ordinary speech, don’t do it during your speech. If you do talk in overly precise in every day speech, then learn to be more natural and don’t use it in your public speaking.

    It may impress a few. If that is your goal, you will have an easy time to reach it. It will be of little lasting value to the audience. If you want to attain to speechmastery however, it will take much longer and be more difficult. The rewards will be immense.

Dynamic Dilemma

    Some speeches call for dynamics. You may need to have larger than life gestures. You may need to increase pace, pitch or power for some sections. You may want to turn up the enthusiasm and increase feeling. For numerous reasons you may need to raise the volume.

    Perhaps as the last speaker or the day you might even have to drop a verbal bomb by making an excessively loud statement at some point. Speech masters do this rarely and effectively when a number in the audience are drowsy from a long day of lectures or a big lunch. It requires being able to read the audience and being in tune to the personality of the audience.

    The key to the dynamic dilemma is balance and a very basic rule you will see throughout these pages.

    The most self serving thing you can do is serve others. The most self satisfying thing you can do is be selfless.

    If your motivation, goal, and desires are to draw attention to your self, only looking at it from the ...whats in it for me... view point, that is all you will get. If you look at your audience and give of you self selflessly, you will receive far more than you could ever imagine or dream of.

So continue working on being natural and Speechmastery will be yours.

Review all the speaking skills. Pick one to work on each time you have an opportunity to speak.

Or consider a few specific skills

Pausing Do you know how it enhances your public speaking. Do you know how to master it?

Public Speaking Volume if mastered improves Naturalness and Pausing. Do you know how and when to master this skill.

Enthusiasm and How to Attain It is another related speaker skill to learn. Do you know what it is? Do you know how to use it in your public speaking?

Go Back to the Speaking Skills List The Naturalness in Public Speaking Website

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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