By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When training to become a Yoga teacher, many people struggle with public speaking. Even if we are able to get the right words out, we may be looking for the right volume, tone, or voice inflection, at the right time.

What can you do if your voice makes you sound like a drill sergeant barking out commands in a Yoga class? Your voice may be naturally assertive, which is great in life, but difficult for projecting a serene mood in a Yoga class.

You may want to practice with an audio recorder to change the tone. Perhaps you are uncomfortable, when you initially teach, and it changes your tone, or causes you to speak faster. Slowing your speech down will require practice. You may also want to try meditation before teaching your classes.

What can you do if your voice is too soft to carry itself across the room? In this case, you will have to raise the volume of your voice, without over compensating. This is not easy for many people to find a balance, in their voice, without some form of voice coaching from their teacher trainer.

Usually, the speaker’s state of mind has an influence on his or her speech. Here are some examples of mental preparation for speaking in front of a Yoga class or to a larger audience. Once you look at these points, you will feel more comfortable talking at the front of your Yoga class.

Mentally connect with your class by looking each student in the eyes. Observe all of them as individuals and scan the room. Start to become conscious of each student as a separate individual. Address their needs and problems, with each individual in mind.

Talk to your students as if they were guests in your living room. You want to establish trust and a rapport in your classes as soon as possible. Make them aware that class time is their time.

If you practice speaking at home, look at yourself in the mirror. What is your facial expression? Do you move your body as you speak? Did you realize your hands are public speaking props?

You should have a natural smile when you speak to your students. Your hands and your head should move naturally; especially, when you are making a point. It is not an accident, when a Yoga teacher captures the attention of a class or a large crowd.

Some Yoga teachers will go through the motions, while others learn to master their communication skills. The most positive part of your character must be present in every Yoga class you teach. Once this is achieved, you will capture the attention of each student.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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