Why ‘Speaking From the Heart’ Can Ruin Your Presentation

When public speaking, “speaking from the heart” is nice in theory, but using that as your speaking plan can create HUGE risks to your presentation, your focus, and your credibility. Learn the simple tricks to make sure that when your heart DOES speak, it keeps your presentation focused, structured, and engaging.

Do you allow yourself to speak “from the heart?” Or do you prepare in advance? I’d love to know what works for you. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your presentation style.

(Video transcript below…)



Very often I sit through presentations where the speaker says, “I’m just going to speak from the heart.”

That’s code for:  “I’m not going to prepare, I’m just going to go with the flow and HOPE that the right words come out.”

Sometimes, that kind of speech works out just fine. But MOST of the time, the speaker ends up with no clear focus, the speech goes on and on and on, they go off on tangents, and every now and then they realize that they just forgot where they were going so they have to backtrack, and it just turns into a huge mess. It’s not a situation you want to get yourself into when you’re standing in front of an important audience – and EVERY audience is an important audience.

As a speaker, you MUST know where you’re going in your speech, and EXACTLY what message you’re delivering to the audience. It’s not about you and your heart, it’s about what your audience needs to hear.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share the knowledge, expertise and gifts that are in your heart….but there’s no reason why you can’t put what’s in your heart on paper, in advance, when you have time to think it out properly, so that when you’re in that important position in front of that important audience, you’re focused, ready and know EXACTLY where you – and your heart – are going in the presentation.

You’re serving and respecting your audience when you create a structured speech that is focused, compelling and engaging. Without that structure, it won’t be clear. And if it’s not clear, the audience won’t follow. And if the audience doesn’t follow, there’s no value. And if there’s no value….what’s the point??

Speaking from the heart works when you’ve taken the time – in advance – to tap into, and really think out – the message in your heart that you want to share. Don’t wait until you’re in front of the audience and hope that it works out. Because MOST of the time, it won’t.

I’m Suzannah Baum. If you’d like to discuss how to put your heart into your speech – and engage the audience with a structured, focused and compelling presentation  – let’s get in touch!

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