Take Your Speech For A Walk – Heather Waring

31 January

Take Your Speech For A Walk – Heather Waring

You’re just starting to gather together the content for your speech so you can make your mark on that blank page. Perhaps you’ve written a draft and are at the editing stage so that it can have more flow and impact. Or maybe it’s written and you want to get really comfortable with your delivery.

Why not take it for a walk?

Walking in open space and in the fresh air expands our creativity, for me it makes ideas flow and I also find decision making easier. All this is relevant to you working on a speech.

The other great thing is that it’s so much easier doing this to take yourself away from the usual distractions like people and situations. I would urge you to turn your phone off so that you won’t be disturbed and you won’t be tempted to pick up emails or post on facebook. That will all still be there afterwards.

The best place to go is somewhere in nature – a park, river side, canal, forest, local woodland where you can walk. Ideally somewhere that has a coffee place nearby so that you can take a break and treat yourself after or during your walk.

One of my favourite places is Epping Forest where I can walk for miles if I choose but just as easily do a few circuits of the lake. There’s a great cafe looking out over the forest where I continue to be inspired as I have a coffee and pull it all together. You can jot down ideas in your notebook that will have come up for you as you walked. Though on many occasions I use the dictaphone facility on my phone to capture ideas as I walk. I have often written the outline for a speech or a blog that way and sometimes the whole thing.

This is the time to close your mind to everything that isn’t important such as all that stuff you left back at base and open your mind to the possibilities of the questions you have or the task at hand. Just let things flow and see what comes up. Don’t be tempted to overthink. I find this works really well from a brainstorming point of view.

You can read what you have written already as you walk, if you are at the editing stage or in fact stop on a tree trunk, bench or boulder and think further. You don’t have to walk all the time.

Being out in open spaces is also a great place to practice your speech. Walking has it’s rhythm so use that for the rhythm of delivery too and practice as many times as you want. Pick somewhere where there is no-one to hear you and speak it out loudly as if you are on a big stage or speak it into yourself if there are folk around.

There is another way to use walking too and this is to just let go of everything and be in the moment. Clear your head and let go of the speech. What will happen in most cases is that you’ll return with ideas and fired up to take things further and it’ll flow onto the page.

Have fun and experiment, try it out your way. Who knows, you may want to take it walking at all stages.

Heather Waring



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