Public Speaking – Remember to WALK TALL

This is an AI generated transcript so please forgive any errors and spelling mistakes. 

Hi, today I want to share with you why it’s so important when you’re public speaking to walk tall. You may have heard the song I think it was by Johnny Cash and it went something like “what tall what big and looked the world right in the eye…”. You may or may not have heard it before, and you probably have never heard it sung that way, but that’s the sentiment I want to get across in this video: why it’s important to walk tall and to be your best self, essentially, when your public speaking.

Before we go into that let me introduce myself. My name is Shola Kaye, I’m a professional speaker, public speaking coach and performer based in London. I’ve got clients all around the world and I run a business called Speak Up Like a D.I.V.A. And D.I.V.A. doesn’t describe me, D.I.V.A. is an acronym and if you want to find out a bit more about what that acronym means then check out my book or check out my website a bit more and you’ll find some information about it.

Public speaking – we can’t hide on stage, we must own it

Let’s get back to the topic of walking tall because that’s what I want to chat about today. A few weeks ago, I was running some corporate training in London for a tech company and there was a guy there, lovely guy, who was in the training cohort. When he came up to the front to the stage to speak it was clear he’s tall guy. He’s probably about 6 foot 2 or 6 foot 3 and it was clear he wasn’t owning his full height. If he had stood up straight he probably had at least another couple of inches in him. When he finished speaking I said “great talk, great speech, I need you to own your height properly because you’re already tall but it’s clear that you’re slouching a bit”.

I can understand if you go up really tall and taller than everybody around you then it may have made you a bit self-conscious about your height, but when we are up on stage in front of the audience we often feel that there are things that we can we can hide or we can tuck away. But our life experiences are in our bodies, until we’ve dealt with them at the very least, and so by slouching it made him appear to possibly be lacking a bit in self-esteem or to have maybe some small confidence issues. Perhaps it goes back to he was teased when he was younger for being taller than everyone else. It was clear from the way he was holding himself that there was something there because he wasn’t owning all that he was and all that he could be.

So that’s what I want to talk about today, because although as I say, we think that we can hide stuff when we’re on stage but we can’t. People can see through us, people can see into us and so the better you’ve dealt with your issues or the more comfortable you are being who you are, the better it is for you as the speaker because you can completely own that space on stage. And the better it is for the audience because instead of watching you and thinking “wow the way the way she stands, she looks a bit hunched or she looks a bit…” and wondering why or what happened or just feeling that things aren’t quite right. Of course, when the audience is thinking that, they’re not listening. They’re trying to figure you out rather than just listening to what you’ve got to say.

Public speaking – the power of your posture

To my mind it starts, I wouldn’t say it’s all about posture, but posture is a big thing. That’s why a lot of Alexander Technique teachers, which is all about posture and how you carry yourself (I’ve never had it myself so if you’re an Alexander Technique expert then you’re probably slapping me through the camera, through the computer haha!) but as far as I understand it it’s a lot to do with posture and the way you carry yourself at least. That’s why a lot of speakers work with Alexander Technique teachers to help them to carry themselves properly for when they’re on stage.

In the absence of working with somebody specifically around your posture I would just love you to remember to own all of who you are when you’re on the stage because you are a radiant being. And all of who you are is shining out when you’re speaking, so why not let that be the good stuff because you’re really proud and happy with who you are and you’ve totally accepted yourself? Part of that is just owning whether you might be a short person, you might be really tall, but just owning who you are and having that stature when you’re on stage.

One thing that I read in a book by Leil Lowndes, How to Talk to Anyone, she talks about the importance of having good posture. I think it was in this book, anyway, but she talks about every time she walks through a door she will just take the sight of the door as a little reminder to stand up straight. So if you can imagine how many doors you walk through in a given day and every single time you walk through a door you just go “oh yeah, time to stand up straight” so all of that will be cumulative. Eventually, if you did have any sort of posture issues or slight slouching issues, those would disappear because you’re constantly reminding yourself stand up straight and walk tall.

Public speaking – be your full glorious self

That’s the air that you want to bring to the stage with you. When I say walk tall I’m not saying be conceited, be arrogant, be full of yourself, but have that quiet confidence. The kind that comes from knowing you’ve done the prep, you’re ready to speak to the audience and you’re being your authentic self. Once you’re authentic onstage nothing can topple you because you’re grounded in who you are. If we can all bring that to the stage with us when we’re speaking then wow… what a difference that is going to make both to ourselves and to our audience!

So wrapping up my little tip today: walk tall, carry yourself as somebody who’s worth a million dollars if not more and be amazing. Be the amazing speaker and the amazing person that you are, because you really are. There’s no one else like you so go for it, walk tall and just remember that you are an amazing person!

If you would like to find out more then why not go to where you can sign up for my free online masterclass which is How to be amazing on stage and win clients with public speaking. You can watch it anytime, day or night, or alternatively you might see that there’s a live online event scheduled. I’d love you to come along to that wherever you are in the world.

That’s it from me for now walk tall and I’ll see you next time.


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