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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Preparing Your Mind for Stage Mastery

Become A Better Listener Of Life

It’s amazing what you can learn, just by listening more! What should you listen for? Everything and anything! Most of us get so caught up in our own daily lives and our problems that we spend most of our mental time solving those problems. We’re worrying, strategizing and creating an image in our minds of that worst-case scenario that we spoke about in chapter one. Unfortunately, this pattern makes us oblivious to all the sensory input that’s around us, and there’s great value in that sensory input!

One of my favorite musicians is the new-age sensation, Yanni. Now, Yanni tells a great story about an occasion when he was in Venice, Italy, and he was just sitting there, listening to the sound of a nightingale that was perched on his window sill.

The nightingale has a very distinct voice, a voice that’s very sweet and reaches high into the musical registers. Yanni explained that many years later, he came across a musical instrument called the Chinese flute. When he heard the sound of this instrument, it reminded him of the song of the nightingale. He then wrote a magnificent piece of music, using the Chinese flute as the focal instrument in the song of the nightingale. If you’ve never heard Yanni’s performance of “Nightingale” live, go to YouTube right now and look it up.  You’re guaranteed a captivating and emotionally uplifting experience.

Again, you might ask what this has to do with speaking. Once again, the answer is, “Everything!” The world around you is filled with sounds that can inspire you, sounds that can move you or uplift you, that can balance you or anger you, and more. Listen to nature, listen to people, and listen to the sounds of the city and of the country. Take your headphones out of your ears and just listen to life! When you learn to listen to life, you’ll find more inspiration than you’ll ever find in your iPod.

So, what’s the lesson? Listen to life, and draw your inspiration from what’s already all around you every single day.

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