Preparing other people to speak publicly has always been a part of my job but because doing it myself is, I believe, going to become a more frequent thing, I decided to write about that with Jy, my spirit guide. As ever, he brought a new perspective to that old phrase ‘the power of words’ – not only in terms of public speaking but of the words all of us casually emit every day! Below are the excerpts that apply to us all.
Speaking – with Jy – January 2015
Speaking is an ability acquired by humans as soon as they are born. Even before a baby can formulate recognisable words, it is increasingly capable of understanding what its parents say, is increasingly capable of making noises of which it understands the purpose, even if it takes a short while for the parents’ understanding to catch up. Thus a baby’s “babble” becomes its language – its method of speaking – and soon, from listening to its parents and siblings make the sound of words, it becomes a mimic, translating its babble into meaningful sounds. That is, sounds that are meaningful to others, rather than just to itself. Because the baby has always known, in every sense, what it was saying. Even in the womb.
Speaking is the verbalisation of your thoughts, in a manner that can be understood by others. It may also be the verbalisation of others’ thoughts – perhaps political or religious ideologies, or a favourite fairy tale. Sometimes humans express others’ thoughts when acting as teachers or preachers. Oftentimes you express your own thoughts when you wish to take part in a conversation about a particular topic, to express your own opinion, or your feelings for another person.
Thus, as an ability learned early and used frequently, speaking is often practiced without much consideration.
The connection between the thought and the verbalisation of it is crucial. Too much of one and too little of the other can heavily influence both the tone and the content of the information or ideas you are expressing. If you are speaking about another’s ideas, you must make plain whether you are simply conveying another’s thoughts – in which case you have a responsibility to convey them clearly and accurately – or whether you are giving your opinion on that other person’s thoughts. In the latter case you have a responsibility to make clear that what you are conveying is simply your opinion – nothing more and nothing less.
You will see, therefore, that speaking, although something even a baby can do, is rather more complex in nature than simply opening your mouth and letting sounds come out! There are responsibilities involved.
Why? Because words have power.
Because what you think and how you express it helps shape your world. Because passionate opinion helps shape other people’s perception of your world. Words do not only have power, they are power. Words, both written and spoken, fuel society. They fuel ideas and ideologies. They fuel action and inertia. They fuel change and stagnation. They fuel tolerance and ignorance. They fuel hate and compassion.
Because humans are a social species, they speak words all the time but there is no such thing as idle chatter, as harmless gossip. Every single word you speak is like a volt of electricity entering the circuits of your society, of your world. Every word has power, has an effect, however subtle.
Too many people speak without thinking. They do not make the necessary connection between what they think, how they express that out loud and what happens in their world. They do not make the connection between the volt they emitted and the light switching on. And they do not take the responsibility.
Being the social animals that you are, the spoken word is hugely important to humans. Indeed, even before any sort of written language was created, man shared information in spoken form. Knowledge was passed from generation to generation verbally and in certain parts of your world this is still so. In addition, the spoken word can often have even greater power than the written because of its immediacy and its ability to engage more of your senses.
The storyteller, speaking aloud, uses the power and tone of the human voice, facial expressions, gestures and body language to enhance their tale – to infuse it with more power than words on a page can possess. The storyteller adds weight to the drama of his words. The magic woven around spoken tales is tangible in the air – an audience held captive and receptive to the full voltage of every word.
Remember you are here to share, not to preach; to offer, not to press. There will be many who listen and many who do not. That is free will. Do not take criticism personally when some who listen disagree. Accept their right to do so, offer kindness and move on.
There will never be a situation where everyone believes the same thing. How could you hope to create that and why would you want to? But (by speaking your truth) you can be a part of creating a world where more people understand the eternal nature of life and love. You can be a small but essential cog in the machine of love and compassion.
Speak from your heart, from your soul. Speak joyfully, speak truthfully, speak responsibly – and all will be well.