Public Speaking: Speaking From the Heart

February 23rd, 2009 by Frank Damelio

vmun-words-from-the-heart1262548916We just discussed a story about a woman who lost her Power Point notes.  Right after writing that blog . . .

My wife and I were invited to a baptism.  The priest opened her sermon by announcing: “In all the excitement about the baptism, I forgot my notes for today’s talk; so I’ll have to just speak from the heart”.

As a public-speaking instructor, I would be inclined to say that’s not a good opener. I would have coached someone in that situation to say nothing and proceed from memory. But in this case it thoroughly worked in her favor. She created a little bit of tension; people sat a bit taller.  We all wondered how well she would handle the circumstances.

It helped that she was likeable and sincere.  I think everyone was silently rooting for her to do a great job.  She did.  Few things resonate more to an audience than “speaking from the heart”.  Also, without the crutch of notes, all of the other wonderful connecting strategies naturally flourish: eye contact, pausing to think, facial expressions, movement and inflection.

Once again, if you tend to overuse your notes or Power Point, take a chance and see how well you can connect with an audience by “speaking form the heart”.

Speaking from the Heart II

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4 Responses to “Public Speaking: Speaking From the Heart”

  1. David Portney, Public Speaking Training Expert Says:

    Having made thousands of presentations – some with and some without notes or powerpoint – I can attest to the power of “working without a net”.

    I always advise my students to have a backup plan; a page of bullet points that are the meat of the presentation, and I advise using a checklist so as not to forget anything important such as… gulp… your presentation!

    Speaking from the heart and speaking with notes are not mutually exclusive; in fact, I strongly advise speaking from the heart with or without notes.

    David Portney

  2. Frank Damelio Says:


    As always, your wisdom and willingness to contribute are very much appreciated. Agreed, if notes are to be used, bullets are far better than paragraphs. This is especially true if you’re using notes as a backup plan. It is far easier to scan through your bullets to find your place than it is to search through long sentence and paragraphs – especially when you feel the pressure.

    Best to you David!

  3. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: PowerPoint Says:

    […] a Winning TeamSales Success Share & Learn « Public Speaking and Networking Public Speaking: Speaking From the Heart […]

  4. Target Intellect Blog » Public Speaking: Speaking from the Heart II Says:

    […] Nothing will endear your audience more than speaking from the heart. […]

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