That's right, I said pubic.
As in mons pubis, from late 19th century Latin, meaning ‘mount of the pubes.’ Today let's talk about the oft overlooked importance of this particular bodily habitat and its relation to our speaking.
I was working with a wonderfully exuberant woman named Patti who wanted to appear at her most confident in front of groups. She was already a powerful speaker, and came across confident - she just was honing her edges, so to speak. Because of her experience working as a teacher, school administrator, and education speaker for years, our coaching session was not going to be about working on her fundamentals. What we started talking about was her style.
Specifically, Patti's natural exuberance came across in a 'rock and roll' manner. This was fine. Her fiery and bigger-than-life presence was just striving to successfully and fully translate when she addressed groups. So we started talking about some of the mechanics lead singers of rock bands use. This seemed to connect well for her.
One thing many lead singers do is push their hips forward, their (shh) pubic area forward, especially when they are front and center at the edge of a stage. Whether intentional or unintentional, they adopt a primal, sexual posture, and it conveys a strong confidence. Now, knowing that she probably did not want to be so brazen as to sexually shove her she-junk at audiences, we toned it down, distilling the hips-forward stance into a working, confident posture.
This can work for women and men when your style is earthy enough. Place your feet one-and-a-half to two times shoulder-width, while holding a two or three inch push forward of your hips. It is better to have your hips forward (pelvis, belly, etc.) than your shoulders or head. And this is not an 'always on' stance - just something to use for certain big and bold moments where you are really rockin' a point. I have found it a valuable addition to my own posture where my body wants to curve forward, leading with my shoulders. Thinking about "pubic speaking" keeps my shoulders back and helps me feel more confident in my delivery.