You Can Do Less

Sometimes it feels like there’s a school of thought in public speaking training that “more is more.” Do more with your voice, more with your gestures, more with your movement. If some is good, more must be better!

My view on this is that it gets confusing for the audience when we load up every word and syllable with vocal inflection and gestures. It’s too much to process. People don’t communicate like that generally, so we’re overwhelmed with messages when someone does their talk this way.

If you recognize this tendency in yourself, good news: you can do less! It’s like that famous Coco Chanel (or maybe Gracie Allen?) quote: “Before you leave the house, look at yourself in the mirror and take one thing off.” Don’t over-accessorize your talk; let the words you’ve chosen do their work.

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