Risks. Do you take them? — Should you always stick to a script when it comes to public speaking? [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
When giving a speech or presentation, we do our best to stick to what we have practiced.
We want to follow the outline or script we’ve prepared so we don’t miss discussing important points.
Outlines or scripts, whether memorized or printed, serve as a guide…
… and a safety blanket.
We feel more at ease in front of an audience knowing that that blanket is there.
Is it good to always stick to what you’ve planned to do and say verbatim?
You could, though it doesn’t mean that it’ll leave a lasting impression and capture your audience’s attention.
We don’t want to come off as too rehearsed or robotic.
Try being a little more conversational.
Show some personality.
We don’t always need to strictly stick to our outlines and scripts.
Try the POWER AUDACITY.
In a speech or presentation, the Power Audacity is the willingness of the speaker to not be too strict on following what was previously rehearsed. It’s the ability to tell interesting stories, surprise the audience, do the unexpected, and stage the appropriate scene for the discussion.
— This is just one of the powerful secrets featured in James C. Humes’ book, “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln.”
Speakers aim to get the attention of their audience through their speech.
We can’t always do that when we sound really scripted.
The Power Audacity helps the speaker stand out and take risks during their speech or presentation.
…and in the process, catch and hold the audience’s attention.
How can you practice this powerful tip?
Having an outline to follow or set of lines to remember is part of preparing for any speaking engagement.
These are useful during practice.
Even if there’s a set flow, you should be open to changes on stage.
Speeches don’t always go as planned.
Always leave room for spontaneity!
One of the best examples of this is when Abraham Lincoln did the Gettysburg Address.
“His audience at the cemetery sat through two hours of Edward Everett’s oration, and then waited for the president’s address. Lincoln took off his stovepipe hat, fixed his steel-rim spectacles on his nose, and then pulled from his pocket pages of what appeared to be a handwritten manuscript. His listeners settled in for a safety and lengthy discourse.
Lincoln surprised his audience. He did not read the speech on his script. In fact, he didn’t even look down at it. He focused on his listeners and spoke directly to them as if from his heart—for only two minutes.”
A speaker should know how to adapt to the atmosphere of the room and observe how the audience is currently reacting to the discussion.
There are also times when adjustments have to be made on the spot.
Depending on the topic and audience, we need to learn when it’s more appropriate to speak casually, formally, from the heart, or straight from a script.
Make A Bold Statement.
It takes a certain flair to stand out and make an impression.
Dare to be different.
Do or say something that the audience is not expecting.
Take a risk. Infuse a speech or presentation with a bold statement.
The statement can be through words or a power gesture.
Grab the audience’s attention. Make sure they focus on what you want to say or convey.
As long as it’s appropriate, go ahead and state shocking, uncommon, or controversial facts, statistics, and opinions.
Doing so can add more impact, prove an extremely important point, or highlight a useful idea in your discussion.
It makes the audience curious and eager to know what comes next.
An example was a statement delivered by Dwight David Eisenhower, an American general who made his speech in Plymouth in early 1944 during World War II.
“There, on the tarmac, the troops stood at attention awaiting the supreme Allied commander. As he approached the assembled soldiers, he slipped on the wet surface, sodden from spring rains. He took a flip and landed on his backside in the mud. The troops stood mute as Eisenhower picked himself up and brushed off his uniform. Then looking at the men, he let loose a huge guffaw. It triggered gales of laughter from the men. He then raised his two arms in a ‘vee’ salute and walked off.”
Eisenhower then commented: “It was the best speech I ever gave.”
Remember that it’s important to interact with the audience.
Engage. Make them feel that they’re part of the conversation.
Be ready when things don’t go as you’ve rehearsed.
The Power Audacity can help you with that.
Try this week’s technique on your next speaking engagement.
It’s a powerful one!
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
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