Just Like a Dancer

Even if you are not a dancer, you can apply some tips from dancing to your speech:

  • Be nimble and free … at ease, not stiff. Dancers who are stiff are not graceful. Speakers who are stiff are boring and seem tense.
  • Make large movements. Dancers choreograph their moves and direction to reach out to large audiences. You can do the same with your voice. Having a strong, well-projected voice with resonance sends a more profound message and reaches more people.
  • Glide, don’t jump. Just as dancers transition from one move to another, you too can move from one topic to another gracefully, not in a disruptive manner. Work on smooth connection.
  • Posture matters. Dancers aren’t bent over and low energy. Speakers can’t be either. Good speakers breathe and are poised and know how to maximize their diaphragmatic support.
  • Timing Matters. Dancers are aware of how much distance there is between themselves and other dances and how far they can move. Speakers need to be aware of distance too. In terms of voice travel and in terms of how long it takes them to say something and how much space they put between words and between phrases.
  • Complexity. Dancing isn’t just one thing: it’s moving in time with the music, looking confident and poised, yet natural and comfortable, and moving with expert grace, necessary strength, and precision. Speaking is like that too. It’s a dance of the voice.
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