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Health Important for Public Speaker

by Ron Kurtus (revised 30 April 2012)

In your role as a public speaker, it is important that you are both physically and emotionally healthy. You can't do a good job at speaking, if you aren't functioning as you should.

Being healthy makes you feel good and allows you to speak more effectively. You can maintain your health by taking care of yourself and avoiding toxic situations.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Good health

Health concerns both physical and emotional well-being.

Physical health

Being physically healthy means that your body is functioning as it should, without pain, discomfort, or lack of capabilities. The speaker's voice must also be healthy.

Causes of ill health include injuries, disease, diet, stress, old age and genetics. Sometimes a speaker will strain or damage his or her voice through excess or improper speaking. Smoking is not good for the voice, as well as the physical health in general.

Emotional health

Being emotionally or mentally healthy means that your mind and emotions are functioning as they should, without anxiety, depression, or other malfunctions. Areas of mental health concerning speakers include overblown egos, insecurities, excessive fears, anxiety about speaking, and lack of confidence.

Causes of mental ill health include distorted attitudes, physical disease, stress, genetics and mental abuse.

Importance and benefits of good health

Having good health is important and beneficial to a speaker. Health is a necessity, so ill health can prevent you from doing what you want in an effective manner or at all. Good health is necessary to effectively deliver a speech. You can't do well if you don't feel well.

Physical health

Being physically healthy is of prime importance in life. Being ill or not feeling well can drastically affect your ability to give a good speech. Obviously, if you feel physically and mentally healthy, you can be more productive, as well as happier in your public speaking.

Speakers need to exhibit vitality when they are in front of an audience. They must look and be healthy.

Emotional health

Emotional well-being is also important. Suffering stress, depression, anxiety or other mental or emotional ailments is not fun. Obviously, you would like your whole life to be happy and satisfying. It is important to be emotionally healthy in order to speak effectively.

In life

Public speaking is only one part of your life. You want to be able to enjoy all aspects of your life and to live a long, productive and enjoyable life. Being healthy will also allow you to gain knowledge and skills, do excellent work, be valuable to your audience, and be honorable to those with whom you deal.

Maintaining health

You must take care of yourself in order to maintain your physical and mental health.

Physical health

Physical health starts with a good diet and includes sufficient exercise as well a generally taking care of your health. Exercise is important not only for your health, but it also increases your energy and vitality and gives the subtle muscle tone that looks good to an audience. An out-of-shape speaker does not have the same credibility or appeal as one who looks fit.

Certainly, smoking should be avoided. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs are not only bad for your physical health, but they can result in a speaker looking and sounding like a fool. Giving speeches in smoky conference rooms used to be a major irritant to speakers who depend on their voice for a living. Fortunately, there is less smoking in conferences, but it still can be a health issue. 

You should also know how to deal with illness or injury by appropriate health care.

Emotional health

Maintaining emotional health is not as specific as maintaining physical health. Positive reinforcement is a way to keep the right mental attitude, as opposed to thinking of things in negative terms. You also want to avoid situations that cause excess stress, or if you are in such situations, to cope with it. For example, giving a speech to an important audience can be stressful, but excess worry is counterproductive. Good preparation and positive visualization can reduce the stress. Also, remember the adage: "Don't sweat the small stuff. Everything is small stuff."

Overreaction to criticism from members of the audience can cause a speaker's stomach to churn. It is good to take such criticisms in stride, consider the source of the criticism, and try to appropriately improve.

You should be aware of these problems and try to avoid negative situations. If you can't bear the negative atmosphere around you, seek to move on to a healthier emotional environment.

Summary

You want to function properly both physically and mentally or emotionally. Unhealthy habits and stressful working conditions can affect your health, as well as your ability to speak. You should take care of your health and work environment, so that you can feel good and be productive.


Feel good every day


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

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Books

Top-rated books on Public Speaking


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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