Dr Miluna Fausch On The 5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker
Practice does not make perfect. What does perfect even mean? One of my Miluna-isms is “Practice means prepared and professional (PP&P). You don’t over-practice, you don’t memorize, but you give yourself plenty of time to practice and own your words. There is a reason we rehearse in the theater for weeks or months before opening night!
At some point in our lives, many of us will have to give a talk to a large group of people. What does it take to be a highly effective public speaker? How can you improve your public speaking skills? How can you overcome a fear of speaking in public? What does it take to give a very interesting and engaging public talk? In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Public Speaker” we are talking to successful and effective public speakers to share insights and stories from their experience. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Miluna Fausch.
All the world’s a Stage, and as an Executive Voice Presence & Pitch Coach, Miluna Fausch uses her Vocal Archetypes℠ modules to help clients conquer stage fright, clear subconscious beliefs that hold them back, eliminate vocal and physical habits that diminish personal power, increase confidence, grow profits, and polish the Voice and presentation skills in order to be recognized, promoted and funded.
Dr. Miluna helps women CEOs, startups, executives and professionals grow their businesses through mastering their Public Speaking Performances! How? Through a unique combination of her performing background as a singer and actor, over 25 years of training in the Voice and care of the Professional Voice, through her creativity training, her experience in the corporate arena, and her love of entrepreneurs and the art of business.
In addition to running her business, Miluna contributes to organizations that she believes improve conditions in the world including Kiva, Amnesty International, Paralyzed Vets of America, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Miluna Fausch has a B.S. in Music Business and a Ph.D. in Holistic Psychology. She is a Voiceworks® Associate and is a certified Level III Somatic Voicework singing teacher. She continues to study business success, money, care of the professional Voice, and the artist’s brain. Miluna and her husband live in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in a small town in Indiana surrounded by cornfields. I was a little kid with huge
dreams. When I was 7 years old my father passed away in a car accident. I learned early on the tragedy of a family that does not communicate about death, grieving, or speaking what I call the language of love. I felt heavily criticized and not heard, which is why I set out to find my own voice. I dreamed of being a superstar singer or race car driver.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always been in love with the voice — from singers and actors to musicians and entrepreneurs. I am also the “great experimenter” or manifestor in the Human Design system, which is around 9% of the population. What this means is that I feel an intense inner drive to experience things personally, whether it be skydiving, buying rental homes, or learning about how our voice really works.
Every job, experience, and class I took (hundreds) led me to understand how very different my perspective is around speaking, how we show up, and how we make presentations. I knew that working with conscientious executives and leaders on evolved and enlightened communication would combine all of my business experience, training in show business, and my spiritual studies and beliefs. It’s because these folks have so much influence and can use their voice for change and good in the world.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Many years ago I was living in Orange County, Calif., and went to see a show about Hank Williams at the Laguna Playhouse. There was a captivating singer/guitarist/actor on stage named Mississippi Charles Bevel. I was so intrigued by his music that I purchased his CD and discovered a song he wrote called “Woman.” I was haunted by the beauty and depth of the song. I was working as a singing teacher and performer and I tracked down Mississippi and asked if I could record the song with him.
And, do you know what? He said “Yes.” Yes with no hesitation or questions. Now, Mississippi happens to be an extraordinary, talented, and generous man. We flew him to Orange County and recorded the song at the studio where I was working. I share this story with you to illustrate the power of believing in your dreams and always, always asking for what you want.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I can call this “funny” only because it was a few years ago! I was part of a live event where a few public speakers were interviewed for a television show. I did not feel good about the event or the person running the event, so I asked my coach to help me write the presentation. It was bad. I had stage fright and forgot my words. It was embarrassing. What I learned was that for me, I need to write my own presentations. Because this was written by someone else, it was not written in the particular way I would say it and it was not easy for me to remember.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person whom you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had so many teachers and coaches, but I will mention my favorite voice coach of all-time, Lisa Popeil, who is based in Los Angeles. She has more curiosity, understanding, and intelligence about the voice than anyone I have ever met. Lisa even toured one summer with “Weird Al” Yankovic as one of his three background singers. Although she works mainly with singers, she has helped me deeply understand how the voice works when we are speaking or singing. I was even inspired to create my eBook, Care for your Voice the Showbiz Way, because of her dedication to caring for the voice.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging and intimidating. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Yes. I believe it is to surrender to our fear of failure itself. It is for us to let go of the definition of failure or success, and follow our own path. Every single one of us gets to define what success is for us. We don’t want to look bad. We don’t want to make mistakes, but that’s what life school is! If we “fail,” we have learned something. We have figured out how to do something or how not to do something.
We know from history that some of the biggest failures have led to some of the biggest breakthroughs. When most people arrive at the end of their life, they speak about regrets. Not what they did do, but what they didn’t or were afraid to do. If you have something to share with the world, I say do it. You can’t possibly know where it will take you or what will happen, but you can say that you lived a life worth living.
What drives you to get up everyday and give your talks? What is the main empowering message that you aim to share with the world?
What drives me is the belief that I have something to say and that my words are impacting or touching someone else. My belief that I am a part of creating a better world that works for everyone. I know that together, we can build a peaceful world where all humanity and all life thrive.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
Well, thank you. I love making an impression on others! I am busy promoting and holding book signings for my first book UpLevel your Communication. I also recently felt the call to honor my own artistry and spiritual intelligence and just completed the creation of two new products — the eBook I mentioned earlier and “Dr. Miluna’s Spiritual Blessing for the Voice, which helps folks open up the energy in their throat and fifth chakra (located at the base of the throat) so that they can begin to speak their message to the world.
My own work is to continue to find new ways to express my voice and bring value to my clients. Next, I would like to work with a legendary resort or hospitality company that cares enough to speak their very best and values impeccable communication.
Can you please give us your favorite life lesson? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Yes, the reason we are here on the planet is simple. We are here to first “know thyself,” and second, to be “true to thyself.” These quotes seem to originate in Greek maxims, and Shakespeare used these proverbs abundantly. Our job as humans is to find out who we are and what we believe in. What we know to be true, not because somebody told us something, but because we have questioned it. We must know when to say yes and when to say no.
In the words of Dolly Parton, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Dolly and Steve are examples of living a big, bold life their way while contributing in a huge way! I say, “Find out what your superpowers are and get busy being, doing, and expressing them!”
Ok, thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your five things someone needs to be a highly effective public speaker? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Before you ever step onto a stage, whether live or virtual, know the intention of your speech. In other words, why are you there? Are you there to educate, motivate, inspire, get elected, raise funds, or preach? Get to your big why before you even begin to write your talk.
2. Practice. Practice does not make perfect. What does perfect even mean? One of my Miluna-isms is “Practice means prepared and professional (PP&P). You don’t over-practice, you don’t memorize, but you give yourself plenty of time to practice and own your words. There is a reason we rehearse in the theater for weeks or months before opening night!
3. Develop your own charisma. Charisma is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure; a special magnetic charm or appeal.” Cultivating your own style and making the most of what you have makes for a more interesting speech. The boring speakers are those in love with their “topic,” placing that above any connection they could establish with their audience.
4. Ditch FOOPO! Yep, this is another Miluna-ism. FOOPO is the Fear Of Other People’s Opinions, which drains the life force energy right out of us. Your job is to care. Any time you are speaking about something that matters, you will be questioned. Life-changing concepts are seen as controversial, as they are not spoken by most people who simply follow others.
5. Have fun up there! Have you ever been to a presentation that was awkward and the speaker seemed to be in some pain — but magically, when they left the stage they had a personality? What happened? The person on stage should be the best version of you! The person on stage should be you turned up and tuned in! If you enjoy yourself, so will we.
As you know, many people are terrified of speaking in public. Can you give some of your advice about how to overcome this fear?
Yes, it is a huge fear. I don’t believe that everyone should be a public speaker. Perhaps your voice is meant to be heard as a writer. For those who are compelled to speak, here are some simple, effective techniques to start with. First, understand that fear of public speaking, or stage fright, is your body’s natural reaction to being in an unnatural situation. The reptilian part of our body experiences being in the spotlight as a threat. Your sympathetic nervous system signals to your brain to release adrenaline. The blood rushes to our hands and feet and away from our core to prepare for fight or flight. Physically we tremble, our voice is unsteady, and we forget everything! It becomes all about us. We know we are being judged and we feel vulnerable. If we understand this and honor our body as just trying to protect us, we can begin to interrupt our fears.
One technique is to pause, breathe and think of your big toes; this will help you stay grounded and in your body. Another technique is to squeeze your butt muscles, which helps the blood and oxygen stay in the core of your body. I also teach a technique where you imagine a flashlight or light coming from the middle of your chest just under your heart, and it’s shining on your audience. This helps you to focus on them, not you, and stay in the present moment. Speaking in public simply means sharing and should be a gift to your audience.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I see that folks don’t know the power of their own voice or what speaking up could do. I imagine a world that matures and evolves to a place of civil and respectful speaking.
My personal movement is educating people in the practice of what I call the six C’s of language arts: Consciousness, Clarity, Courage, Courtesy, Compassion, and inClusion.
Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have lunch, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I appreciate that! I am a huge fan of Formula 1 race car driver Lewis Hamilton, who is changing the face of racing for many reasons — diversity, his own sense of fashion, and the way he stays true to himself. This season has been a challenge for their race team. Lunch with him would be a fascinating and delightful experience to learn from someone who has accomplished what he has (and will)!
Are you on social media?
How can our readers follow you online?
My website: https://www.milunafausch.com/
On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmiluna
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoctorMiluna
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqbcSLET0M_NUL9ScJyDY9w/videos
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!