Pure artistry. That’s the only way I can describe what I witnessed at my Toastmasters club this past Tuesday.
One of our members used not one, but two accents to present her icebreaker speech, and they were impeccable. First, her Russian accent, complete with idiosyncratic nuances of phrase. Next, a French accent. She also added facial expressions and body language to reflect the differences in culture.
This woman is naturally expressive. She has a gift for language. And, because she brings in her life experiences so freely and boldly, she captivates and delights her audience.
One of our other speakers shared an exquisitely written speech with metaphors and turns of phrase that were like a soothing balm to our souls. She has a gift for the written word that stirs her audience with her passion, poetry and profundity.
Every one of us has gifts that, when brought into our presentations, can elevate and enchant our audiences. The trick is to notice them, own them, and purposefully activate them.
Here’s the hitch. Sometimes, because these are so natural, we don’t think they have value. Au contraire! It is because they are natural they have value! They are your “get out of jail free” card! They are brimming with authenticity.
How do you identify your natural gifts?
1. Notice what people point out. Is it a colloquialism like “okey doke?” Is it your fluid “dance-like” body language? Or the way you use your hands to tell a story all their own?
2. Look at what do you do outside of speaking. Do you garden? Bowl? Play the saxophone? What are you interested in? Consider including a turn of phrase or way of moving from your interest.
3. Consider your worldview. Are you a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person? Do you reject all labels? How do these ideas show up in your work and your life?
4. Observe what you are drawn to or resist. Do you have a pet peeve? Do you gravitate to a particular place or person? Do you have a pet phrase? Sometimes what we are drawn to, or resist, can reveal hidden talents and gifts.
5. Ask yourself, what do I wish to leave the world when I’m gone? This will definitely clarify what you value and where your gifts may lie.
I think the reason these gifts are so natural is we are meant to use them, so do! Give us the gift of your gifts. They are part of your unique presence.
I’d love to support you. You can reach me at Andrea@AndreaBeaulieu.com.