Yoga has taken me a long time to appreciate. I started practicing about two years ago, and I didn’t realize until my Power Yoga class this Tuesday how far I’ve come. I was sandwiched between a genuine yoga superstar craning and handstanding all over the place and an older woman who was relaxing and slowly enjoying her hour of physical and mental exercise… and there was me. I wasn’t the best in the room, but I wasn’t the worst. I was really good at some things but really struggled with others. Best of all, I calmed myself down and relaxed (as best as a Type-A can) during shavasana. For me, this is always the most difficult task, but I’m getting better and better.
When I read “Public Speaking: My Yoga Connection,” Corrie Miller’s ideas resonated with me because of my “ah ha!” experience during Power Yoga earlier this week. Miller believes public speaking is a lot like yoga because both require perseverance to get over something uncomfortable. Miller says she also had an “ah ha!” moment during her Bikram yoga class. Miller writes of hot yoga that “[y]our goal at the first class is just to: STAY IN THE ROOM. So where am I going with this as it pertains to public speaking? The answer is in the PERSEVERANCE. Facing the fear. Just committing to being uncomfortable for awhile and seeing where it goes. Usually there’s a payoff” (Source). Ethos3’s “Mental Toughness and Presenting” is a similar article, and the author links presenting to the four qualities of mental toughness: goal setting, visualization, self-talk, and emotional control. When in yoga and when presenting, it is important to have a clear goal in mind; to visualize success; to use positive energy and self-talk to get through the tough moments; and to control the physical and emotional sensations such as heavy breathing, sweaty palms, and a racing mind (Source).
Andrew Dlugan is back from a short hiatus, and Six Minutes has been updated with FIVE great new posts! “Parallelism 101: Adding Clarity and Balance To Your Speeches” covers the importance of parallel structure and how to use this writing technique in your speeches. “Volume and the Public Speaker: Be Heard and Be Effective” focuses on strategies for increasing your speaking volume for your audience. “How To Choose and Use Speech Props: A Speaker’s Guide” is a great resource for selecting the right prop and using that prop effectively in a presentation. Fourth, “Speech Transitions: Magical Words and Phrases” explains how to create stronger “flow” in your presentations. “Flow” is a magic word that my students use a lot without really knowing its meaning or how to “flow” themselves, so Dlugan’s article would be very helpful for them.
The shortest of his five new articles relates to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Junior’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” I’ve been hearing some wonderful things on NPR, and I enjoyed the reminder from Dlugan’s “I Have a Dream: 50th Anniversary.” What great things did you read about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington? What other great things did you read this week?