Aspiration means both to breathe in and to want to achieve something. Inspiration also means to breathe and to feel motivated by an idea. We breathe in silently but to share our aspirations or inspirations we have to voice them.
Breath is as vital to speech as it is to life.
Many people would like to inspire their audiences but don’t always achieve this outcome. Often because as speakers they are too self conscious. They rush, mumble, ramble and feel uncomfortable, or often breathless. Their personal discomfort is the dominant force.
We are very used these days to being influenced by the media and politicians who seem to manage public speaking with little effort. They know they have to speak for a purpose or with an intention.
If you are my audience I may want to excite you, or amuse you. I may want to motivate you or seduce you. By being clear in my intention, what I ensure is that I am clear in the way I put my ideas across. Rather than using a flabby monotone my intentions give my voice new energy and focus and my message lands. With clear intentions behind my speech I decrease my own anxiety about how my message will be received. Once I focus on my intentions I am more interested in what I want for you rather than dwelling on my own insecurities.
Of course we wouldn’t be talking about this without looking at how you deliver your message and that brings us back to ‘aspire to inspire’.
Our breath is reactive to thought. You may race through your words getting them out of the way so that you can step out of the spotlight quickly. So you seldom breathe sufficiently. If your intention, your own aspiration, has been to inspire your audience then you simply need to take in enough breath to achieve your goal. Having thought about your intention will help you to achieve this.
The moral of this story is of course when you aspire to inspire an audience or to motivate them, to engage them, to warn them, your breath will be your best friend. Take your time. Use the idea of space between words, ideas and thoughts to allow for the in breath and let your message land successfully.