• Scott Stiefvater

Find Calm in Selfless Speaking.

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

We live in a time of great anxiety. To find calm you might take a walk. You might meditate. But you can also find calm in the act of speaking, regardless of whom you are speaking to or what you are speaking about. Yes, that includes 'public speaking' situations that freak a lot of us out.

Like most mindful practices, selfless speaking is very much about being aware and in the present. The emphasis, though, is on freeing yourself from your ego, the source of most of your anxiety.

Selfless speaking also differs from most mindful practices in at least two ways. A core principal of mindfulness is acceptance of things as they are, but we often speak to change things by changing people's minds. And we tend to associate mindfulness with being quiet and inactive. Speaking often needs to be relatively loud and active to be impactful.

Here are just a few of the tenets of selfless speaking:

Other-Based Intention

  • Make it your entire intention to be of service to your listener(s) and to give them something of value.

  • Be on guard for your ego. Notice when you fall into trying to protect it, e.g. trying to look good or be right. Force your intention back to serving your listener(s).

  • Don't try to say the perfect words. Try to express the perfect ideas.

Outward Awareness

  • See your listener(s). Really see them. Muster all the awareness you can.

  • In your pauses, watch your listener(s) process your thoughts, noticing all the little ways they respond to you. Let their responses affect you.

  • Stay out of your head as much as possible. Focus on the outward act of speaking and on your listener.

Balance and Energy

  • Get balanced over your feet (if standing) or your pelvis (if sitting). Relax your upper body.

  • Lean your upper body forward slightly as you finish sentences.

  • Transfer the emotion in every sentence to your listener(s) through expressive energy in your voice, face, hands and body.

The beauty of selfless speaking is that it doesn't involve setting aside time to find calm. You find calm in a regular activity within your life. Imagine if in every conversation or presentation you give, you become centered, creative and calm.


© 2021 by Scott Stiefvater,

(anti) Presentation Coach


Tel: 925-586-3517

San Francisco Bay Area


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