“Be the first YOU!” Let your own personality shine through in your speech or presentation! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
“Why bother to give a talk?”
This is one of the questions Chris Anderson asked in his book titled, “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking.”
If you are to answer that question above, what will you say?
For Anderson, this is why:
It’s because talks offer something EXTRA that has to be thought about, invested in, and developed.
That “something extra” is…
The “human overlay that turns information into inspiration!”
Anderson states that watching a speaker and hearing his or her voice has a powerful impact on the audience.
In other words, there’s a CONNECTION, which compels listeners to welcome and act upon a speaker’s ideas.
There are a few reasons why an audience responds positively to certain speakers. These reasons can be grouped into 2 categories and as a speaker, these are important for you to know and apply in your talks:
- Speaking with meaning.
Voice coaches train speakers in terms of:
Volume (the degree of loudness)
Pitch (the degree of highness or lowness of a tone)
Pace (the consistent speed in speaking)
Timbre (the quality of voice as distinct from pitch and intensity)
Tone (the vocal sound with reference to pitch, quality, and strength)
Prosody (the singsong rise and fall that distinguishes, for example, a statement from a question)
While these vocal tools are all helpful in public speaking, the main takeaway from this is to inject variety in the way you speak based on the message you’re trying to convey.
Think of your voice as a whole new tool to get inside your listeners’ heads.
Go beyond just wanting your audience to understand you. Make them feel how passionate and committed you are in what you’re doing!
Speak to your audience in a conversational manner, injecting curiosity and excitement whenever appropriate, while also maintaining an air of professionalism.
- Coordinating with your body.
British author Sir Ken Robinson observed that some professors seem to view their bodies simply as devices to carry their heads to the next meeting or class.
This visualization can also apply to some speakers.
Once they walk onto the stage, they start to feel awkward and shy, not knowing what to do.
This concern can be amplified in a setting where there’s no lectern to hide behind, so speakers end up standing awkwardly, with hands glued to the sides or lurched from leg to leg!
What can you do to prevent this scenario from happening?
Think about the things that will help you better project your authority and confidence to your audience!
One of the simplest ways to deliver a speech or presentation is to stand tall, put equal weight on both feet, and use your arms and hands naturally to help convey what you’re saying.
It’s also okay if you prefer to walk while presenting on stage―especially if doing so helps you think more clearly and emphasize key points in your talk. However, keep in mind that the walking should be relaxed and infrequent to not distract your audience.
Avoid nervously shifting from leg to leg or walking forward and backward in a rocking motion―these actions highlight the discomfort you feel on stage and from an audience’s viewpoint, that’s quite distracting.
So… what’s the bottomline here?
You may move around the stage if you want to, but do so in a natural way. Then, if you want to emphasize an important point, you may stand still for a moment and speak with power.
What matters is for you to find a public speaking mode in which you’re comfortable, confident, and not distracted from getting your message across.
That way, you’re not only making yourself feel and look good on stage, but you’re also helping your audience to be at ease during your presentation.
It’s easy to get caught up with the hows of giving a talk that you forget what is more important: Giving your talk in your own authentic way.
Just like choosing your presentation wardrobe, once you’ve found a presentation style that works for you, lock it in.
Don’t try to be someone else…
… focus on your message and your passion to deliver it to your audience…
… and don’t be afraid to let your own personality shine through.
Be the first YOU. It’s better to be recognized as your “own kind of speaker” than “a speaker who’s trying to be another speaker.”
In the words of Dan Pink, the New York Times bestselling author of the books, “When” and “Drive:”
Take note of these tips in your next speech or presentation and be the best speaker you can be!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research