Innovating Through Artistry

Communication and the child within

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 23, 2009 at 5:47 am

Child within?  What does that have to do with public speaking? 


Speakers need to be reminded that their imagination and their ability to talk passionately and speak in pictures, is directly connected to how often they release the child within.   

Last night I conducted another amazing Acting Class and it reminds me of the skills public speakers need in order to be great.


Be a five year old. 


Everyone found a spot on the floor and began imagining their five year old space and whatever popped up was then worked on – tying shoes, waiting for Dad to come home after being bad, setting up toys like soldiers, ballerinas, etc., waiting for a friend to come over and play, hitting someone who took their toy away and on and on.  


Everyone learned that they restrict themselves as adults and the excitement is squelched because we are grown ups who are not allowed to express our feelings in an authentic way.  What a pity.  Our heads guide us toward what is acceptable and as years go by we make the rules more and more rigid and the child is no longer heard.


The passion, the joy, the commitment, the imagination, the excitement of the child is so necessary in great public speaking.  Have you lost touch with yours?  Where do you go to re-learn to be authentic, to see anew, to play again?


I ask for 10 minutes of your time.  Because you can’t THINK what it was like to be a child and try to re-capture it.  You can’t IMITATE your childhood phrases or actions or words and expect to re-capture the child within.  You have to get down and dirty.   This is true of speaking too.  You can’t imitate your idea of what a speech should be or sound like, you must be present as yourself with your voice speaking honestly.


You have to put it in the present time and be the child. That means you set some time aside – 10 to 15 minutes.  Find a quite place.  Yes, I know, that doesn’t really exist, but focus and concentrate (another important aspect of public speaking) on your task and nothing else.  Now start imagining your surroundings.  You don’t have to be exact, just go with whatever pops into your head (the subconscious is were your creativity lives), whether it’s a different age, 10 or 2, it doesn’t matter.  If the colors in your room can’t be remembered, just toss in whatever comes up, because it will be there for a good reason.


Now start to play.  Don’t force, just let it come to you.  If it’s difficult and you start thinking – DON’T.  Just pick up a toy and start playing and talking to yourself out loud IN THE PRESENT, as if it’s happening right now. 


Commitment, focus, imagination, letting go, letting it happen to you instead of making it happen, freedom, authenticity, seeing for the first time and being present (absolutely important for public speakers) are just some of the rewards.  Without releasing the child, you will continue bringing your head, and not your heart, to your communication.   


Let me know what happens.  I’d love to talk about it further.



  1. Thanks for the reminder about being a more exciting, fun speaker! It is amazing how animated you have to be to really communicate excitement in front of a large group! It also shows us how much we have turned down our volume as adults… The Artist Within and the child within have a lot in common. Thanks for your thoughts!

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