A perennial question that every public speaker has is, “How can Iconnect with my audience?” By “connect” we usually mean getting the audience to be interested in what we have to say, getting the audience to pay attention to you and your presentation, and getting the audience to like you and become comfortable with you. To get to that much desired state, many speakers think they have to be clever, witty, and have a perfect speech. While all that helps, the most basic way to connect with people has nothing to do with words!


The First Brain Connection

Observe how a baby interacts with people. The baby doesn’t know “language,” or numbers, and doesn't know anything about proper attire. All a baby cares about is whether you are safe to be around. A baby’s thinking part of the brain, the neocortex, is still developing, but the baby already has developed the part of the brain that receives sensory input. Researchers in communication sometimes call that part of the brain, the “First Brain” because it is the first part of the brain that develops. It consists of the limbic system and the brain stem. Its primary focus is self-preservation. Here are four absolutely important things we have to keep in mind as communicators:

  1. Every person in your audience has a “first brain.” 
  2. The language of the first brain is not words but sensing.
  3. All sensory input goes into the first brain. The first brain acts as the gatekeeper to the thinking part of the brain – the neocortex. We can refer to the neocortex as the “new brain” because it develops after the first brain.
  4. If the first brain doesn't like what it senses, the new brain will not receive your speech, however brilliant it may be. If the first brain likes what it senses, the new brain will receive your speech.

Then, the obvious question is, what’s the “language” of the first brain? How do we get the first brains of our audiences to relax and allow our message access to their new brains? Aha! I’m glad you asked. The language of the first brain is signals we give with our bodies, gestures, vocal tones, facial expressions, eyes, posture, movement, and such non-verbal and vocal expressions. It has nothing to do with the actual words (the verbal component) we say, but how we look and what we sound like when we say them matter a great deal.

For example, how do you know a person is friendly? Without being conscious of it, you’ve scanned his face and body for signs of friendliness (smile, eyes, open body posture, etc.) How do you know a speaker cares about you and others in the audience? Chances are the speaker is audience-centered; there’s something about the eyes, tone of voice, and gestures that signal it. How do you know a speaker is sincere and not taking you for a ride? You sense it by the speaker’s facial expression, steadiness of gaze, earnestness in the vocal tone, etc. 


Do your words matter? Of course they do. But if you don’t speak the language of the first brain with your body and heart, your eyes and face, your gestures and your movement, you will make it harder for your carefully crafted presentation to be received, heard, and understood. 


What’s the bottom line? It is this: genuinely care for your audience; speak from your heart; be passionate about the truth you speak and be earnest about giving a gift to your audience. When you do so, you will be speaking the language of the first brain as well as delivering substance to the new brain. Your message will be heard and felt, and you will discover the satisfaction that every successful speaker receives – that your time on the stage mattered and your message was significant in the life of someone in the audience.


I hope you find the following photos to be first brain friendly.


What’s Exciting?


In the first weekend of March we concluded the most intense and exciting communication weekend in the history of Dr. Dilip, LLC! We held our first-ever Communicate with Distinction Leadership Retreat. With six highly motivated participants, our three instructors worked hard to deliver an awesome experiential  learning weekend. Many thanks to my co-presenters: Dean Bertsch, principal of B to B Seminars, and Dale Fallon, CEO of The Communication Gym. The curriculum covered advanced speaking techniques, writing, grammar, and mental breakthrough methods that moved the communication expertise and confidence of every participant to a higher level. In addition, what’s exciting is that we will hold this weekend retreat again next year! Dilip’s Diamond readers, mark the dates: March 14 -16, 2014. Registration details will soon appear, with a generous discount given if you register before December 31, 2013! Our sincere thanks go to The Communication Gym for providing their space and utilities for this event.


How You Can Join in the Fun


2013’s first public Mind Mapping workshop will take place Saturday, June 22, 

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in room 200 at Central Penn College. For more information and to register, visit Next to his empowered state of mind, Dr. Dilip considers his mind mapping skills his greatest tool as a speaker, presenter, writer, and trainer. He doesn't want to keep this to himself. He wants to pass it on to you!


The Diamonds Club portal has been streamlined and made easier to access and use. For more information about the Diamonds Club and how it can benefit you, please read below!


If you found this newsletter helpful and would like more in-depth speech guidance, come join the Diamonds ClubHere is what you get from membership in the Diamonds Club:

  • A monthly video training session on how you can become a more competent and confident public speaker. This will run from 8-15 minutes and you can play it as many times as you want to extract the maximum learning from it.
  • Free quarterly webinars, which will go into depth on public speaking skills as well as special communication topics that will help you reach ever-higher levels of knowledge and competence.
  • Receive an evaluation of your upcoming speech. Submit a video clip or script of a speech you are preparing to give. Receive expert feedback that will inform you about what you are doing well and receive practical tips on how to improve your presentation.
  • A Q & A Forum where you can submit your questions about public speaking and communication. Learn from the answers, not just to your questions, but also answers to questions posed by others.

You can hurdle time and money obstacles because for a low monthly fee, you can access all of the above 24/7! For more details and to sign upclick here.



Dr. Dilip Abayasekara
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in Time

March 15-17:

Men’s Retreat, Camp Hill United Methodist Church,Mount Asbury Retreat Center, Newville, PA


March 21:

Speak at Frederick Toastmasters Club 60thAnniversary, Frederick, MD


March 23:

Speech Coaching,Professionals, Summerdale, PA


March 24:

Worship Leader, Camp Hill United Methodist Church,Camp Hill, PA


April 1:

Leadership Training, NICOD, Lancaster, PA


April 4:

Speech Coaching,Executive, Summerdale, PA


April 10:

Speech Coaching,Executive, Summerdale, PA


April 15:

Speech Coaching,Executive, Summerdale, PA


April 18, 27, 28: 

Medium Church Consultation, New Cumberland, PA


April 22:

Speech Coaching,Executive, Summerdale, PA


April 29:

Speech Coaching,Executive, Summerdale, PA


May 2-5:

Large Church Consultation, Fishing Creek, Salem, PA


May 18:

Keynote, D 38Toastmasters Conference,Langhorne, PA


May 19:

Accredited Speaker Workshop with Sheryl Roush, D 38 Toastmasters, Langhorne, PA



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Quote to
Think About

“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 

― Albert Camus