Gymnastics is not solely about learning split leaps, jumps, and handstands. It’s about harnessing an individual’s physical strength, agility, and determination to execute astounding physical feats. In an article on FloGymnastics, Keri Monstrola shows us that the sport transcends its craft and manages to relate itself to other parts of our life as well.
The skills gymnasts learn in training are perfect building blocks for presentations. Here are some more gymnastics skills you need to learn to become a well-rounded speaker:
Gymnasts work through their fears to undertake difficult routines on uneven bars, springboards, and balance beams. It’s impossible for them to pull off perfect tens on each activity without mastering the first step: overcoming fear. Likewise, presenters must set aside and face their personal public speaking fears.
If you’re afraid of being the center of attention, making mistakes, or feeling dissatisfied with your presentation skills, consider the hardships of gymnasts. The tumbling passes at different heights are more terrifying – and have greater physical consequences – than speaking in front of a crowd.
Your life isn’t put at risk, but your business reputation or sales deals are.
All professionals pass through the beginning stages. Aspiring gymnasts are also given the chance to develop their social skills like listening, taking turns, and following directions. In turn, the senior students learn to become role models to foster a good learning environment for the newbies.
The same goes for keynote or PowerPoint presentations. Your discussion is a two-way street, breaking the wall between you and your audience. Establish a successful and productive dialogue by asking questions, responding to feedback, and allowing participants to speak up to develop an engaging, audience-centered discussion.
Balance and Control
Balance and control are two of the most important skills to succeed in the sport of gymnastics. The perfect combination and understanding of the two must be incorporated for a seamless execution of every routine.
In public speaking, a harmonious combination of verbal and non-verbal cues demonstrates an interactive speech delivery. Your emotion is what connects you to your audience. Keep them under control so that you appear genuine, but not threatening or insincere.
Gymnastics doesn’t only teach sports enthusiasts positive lessons learned through daily training, but it can also inspire people who make presentations for a living.
Before you can start presenting, you have to overcome your fears to begin your public speaking journey. Presenting isn’t a solo effort. After all, you’re presenting to an audience, so you must make it a conversation by involving the crowd.
Lastly, master a balance of verbal and non-verbal cues to engage different types of audiences in the ways they best learn.
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Monstrola, Keri. “10 Life Skills Learned From Gymnastics.” FloGymnastics. November 2, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.
Featured Image: “TWU Gymnastics [Floor] Mollie & Amy” by Erin Costa on flickr.com