The Master Communicator Blog

The feng shui way to public speaking success

What does feng shui have to do with public speaking? The ancient Chinese practice of spatial harmony and energetic flow can help you speak with more clarity, confidence, and impact.
March 28, 2024

If you see effective public speaking as a balance of concrete, concise, and compelling ideas delivered energetically with clarity and consideration for the audience, then the ancient practice of feng shui can make a world of difference in how you communicate. It starts with clearing physical and mental clutter.

Spring is a time for releasing material things, ideas and habits that no longer serve you and making room for new and better ones. I undertook a large-scale clearing of my office of books and files from my past lives and found a two-inch binder filled with reference materials about organizing. Twenty years ago, I considered becoming a professional organizer as an antidote to the burnout I felt in my public relations career. The binder contained a wealth of information on how to achieve an organized life, including how to apply the principles of feng shui to living and working spaces and mindset.

I discovered that the principles of feng shui used to enhance interiors can be applied directly to how you communicate. While I actively preach and practice techniques and strategies to improve public speaking skills, one aspect I have underestimated is the influence of environment and energy flow, as understood in the feng shui tradition. Until now.

Feng shui is centered around the concept of creating harmony and balance in one’s surroundings to promote well-being and success. It examines the relationship between individuals and their environment, emphasizing the flow of energy, or chi. By optimizing the energy flow, feng shui aims to enhance various aspects of life, including health, relationships, and career.

The connection between feng shui and public speaking lies in the profound impact that your surroundings can have on your mindset, confidence, and ability to communicate effectively. Here’s how feng shui principles can be applied to create an environment and mental outlook conducive to successful speaking:

1. Clutter-free Spaces

Feng shui teaches us that clutter obstructs the flow of chi and creates mental chaos. A clutter-free environment is essential for clarity of thought and focus, both crucial for effective communication. Before stepping onto a stage, ensure that your practice and speaking areas are tidy and organized to promote a sense of calm and composure.

2. Balanced Energy Flow

The arrangement of furniture and objects within a space can either facilitate or hinder the flow of energy. In feng shui, the positioning of objects is carefully considered to create balance and harmony. Arrange seating and podiums in a way that allows energy to flow freely throughout the room, promoting a sense of connection between you as the speaker and your audience.

3. Colors and Lighting

Colors and lighting have considerable influence on mood and perception. In feng shui, warm, inviting colors such as earth tones and soft blues are often recommended for spaces where communication is key. The same thoughtful color choices are also recommended for your wardrobe. Adequate lighting, both natural and artificial, is also crucial for creating a bright and energizing atmosphere that keeps the audience engaged and attentive.

4. Supportive Backing

In feng shui, a solid backing behind you symbolizes support and stability. When speaking in public, choose a lectern/podium or seating arrangement that provides a sense of security and grounding (but don’t hide behind them). On Zoom video conferences, have a well-designed virtual background that when used with a physical green screen presents you at your professional best. Avoid sitting or standing directly in front of doors or sharp corners because these can create a sense of vulnerability and distraction. This also applies to the artifacts and décor in your real-life video setup.

5. Mindful Placement of Props

Visual aids and props can enhance your presentation in person and online but their placement should be thoughtfully considered. In feng shui, each object carries its own energy, so be mindful of the messages they convey. Choose props that align with your message and place them strategically to complement rather than detract from your speech. The same goes for awards, accolades, or symbols of achievement you can display to boost your confidence and credibility.

6. Personal Energy Alignment

Feng shui emphasizes the importance of harnessing positive chi (energy). Practices such as meditation, visualization, or Qi Gong cultivate a sense of inner calm and alignment. This centered state of being can positively impact your presence and ability to connect with your audience. Before stepping onto the stage or starting a video call, take a moment to center yourself and imagine success. Incorporate calming breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques to dispel nervous energy and project authority.

7. Intention Setting

Setting clear intentions is a fundamental aspect of the practice. Before delivering your speech, use feng shui principles to set positive intentions for your presentation. Focus on specific goals, such as inspiring, educating, or persuading your audience, and channel your energy and attention towards being of service to them.

8. Balancing Yin and Yang Energies

Feng shui seeks to achieve a balance of yin (passive) and yang (active) energies within a space. When applied to public speaking, this balance is reflected in your delivery style. Effective speakers know how to modulate their energy levels, alternating between moments of dynamism and moments of calmness to maintain audience engagement and interest. You can do the same.

9. Creating Supportive Soundscapes

Sound is a powerful feng shui tool that can influence the energetic dynamics of a space. Speakers can use soundscapes, such as soothing music or ambient nature sounds, to create a supportive auditory environment for their presentations. Plus, paying attention to acoustics and minimizing distracting noises can help you maintain the audience’s focus and enhance your overall speaking experience.

The application of feng shui principles to public speaking is a fascinating topic to explore. You don’t need to become a feng shui master. By integrating just a few basic concepts into your public speaking practices, you can optimize your speaking environment, align your personal energy, and boost your effectiveness. Whether delivering a keynote address, leading a workshop, or participating in a panel discussion, applying feng shui principles can help you cultivate presence, connect authentically with your audience, and elevate your performance to new heights.

Rosemary Ravinal

Business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to elevate their public speaking impact, executive presence, and media interview skills come to me for personalized attention and measurable results. I am recognized as America’s Premier Bilingual Public Speaking Coach after decades as a corporate spokesperson and media personality in the U.S. mainstream, Hispanic and Latin American markets. My company’s services are available for individuals, teams, in-person and online, and in English and Spanish in South Florida and elsewhere.

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