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Showing posts from July, 2015

Speaking with Presence

Mindfulness can be an important 'thing' for anyone seeking to improve their speaking skills. Many physical and emotional benefits can come out this practice. My experience has also been that it can help to gather my thoughts during speech, to reduce vocal fillers and to increase my ability to think on my feet. It is through this refocusing of attention that I believe true 'stage presence' can be learned. Perhaps counter-intuitive as it may be, thinking less can help you to think (and speak) more clearly and with more power. So then, what is mindfulness?  Jon Kabat-Zinn, a prominent author, speaker and researcher on the subject provides a useful definition of mindfulness as, "Awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally." It's a kind of focused awareness that lies beyond our usual patterns of thought. Taking a few deep breaths to 'clear your head', stopping t