The rule is there are no rules! Find the approach that works best for you and your talk… [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Scripts are a helpful tool in public speaking…
… but have you ever felt that sometimes, instead of serving as a guide, these hinder you from effectively delivering your message?
If your answer is “yes,” you’re not alone!
In fact, there are also other speakers who are not comfortable with using scripts for their speeches or presentations.
Why do you think they feel that way?
As stated by Chris Anderson in the book titled, “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking,” scripted talks don’t work well all the time because it takes away a speaker’s natural speaking style.
There are many ways to prepare for and deliver a speech or presentation.
The question is…
Do you know the most suitable approach that you should use as a speaker?
It’s important to know the route that works best for you (including whether or not you should use a script) because when it comes to your actual presentation, no matter how prepared you are, a lot of things can go wrong such as:
- Lulling your audience to sleep with your voice tone
- Sounding like you’re just reciting your presentation
- Running out of time before saying half of your message
- Failing to make your audience laugh when they’re supposed to, or making them laugh when they’re not supposed to
- Forgetting what you’re going to say next
… and the list goes on.
Thankfully, with the right kind of preparation, the chances that these scenarios might happen can be lessened.
One important thing you have to consider in preparing for a speech or presentation?
Knowing how to deliver your talk.
Allow us to share with you a few tips on how you can effectively deliver a message to your audience:
- Emphasize connection over content.
According to Kristi Hedges, author of the book titled, “The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others,” one of the best ways to engage listeners is to build your presentation from an “emotional place”—a common ground where they can relate with your message.
What good is your talk if your audience is not interested in what you’re saying?
No matter how good your information is, it would be useless if you don’t establish a connection with your listeners. Be clear about what you want them to learn from your presentation!
Take note: Your mastery and passion for your topic can draw an audience’s attention. Talk in an engaging manner so attendees will be further motivated to listen to you.
- Be authentic—be yourself.
Some speakers try to sound like someone they admire instead of being themselves.
In the words of Harvard University’s Psychology professor, Daniel Gilbert:
“Some people try to sing like their favorite singer or dance like their favorite dancer. Similarly, some speakers may try to sound like Martin Luther King, Jr. or John F. Kennedy.”
What about you?
How do you want your audience to remember you?
Do you want them to think of you as a natural-born speaker, or someone who is too scripted?
If you want to effectively get your message across and connect with your listeners, one of the things you have to master is AUTHENTICITY.
By this, we mean using a conversational language and being true to yourself once you get on stage.
While there’s nothing wrong with admiring other great speakers out there, you have to remember that you are your own speaker. If you want your audience to remember you, then you have to make yourself stand out.
- Diversify your delivery.
Different people learn in different ways, whether by listening, writing down notes, drawing, etc.
To cater to these learning methods, utilize presentation tools properly to incorporate research or tell a story.
One important tip to keep in mind when using multimedia: Don’t let technology obscure what you’re trying to say.
For instance: PowerPoint is an incredible tool, but you should not let it do your whole job as a speaker.
Aside from visual tools, you may also use stories or anecdotes to drive home your point—sometimes, they are more effective than presenting mere facts and figures.
As long as your story is not too sensitive or offending, it will help you make your talk more compelling and dynamic.
- Know the public speaking setup.
Before your actual presentation, have a test-run in the venue of the event where you’ll be speaking.
Check if the tech system is working fine or if there’s anything else that needs fixing.
By doing so, you’re giving yourself enough time to assess defects and troubleshoot in advance.
Chris Anderson said that several years ago, TED used to be rigid in its rules on talk delivery.
“No lecterns. Never read your talk.”
[Lectern: A stand used to support a book or script in a convenient position for a standing reader or speaker.]
The reason for establishing that rule?
The organization believes the audience genuinely responds to the “vulnerability” of a speaker who stands unprotected by lecterns and speaks from the heart.
For TED, that is “human-to-human communication in its purest form.”
However, as years passed, the organization’s leaders realized there’s also power in variety.
They thought that if every speaker stood in the center of the stage, it would soon get tiresome for the audience to see.
So… the solution?
No more rules!
TED’s leaders decided what’s important is that speakers are comfortable, confident, and able to deliver their talk in a manner that works best for them.
There is no exact formula when it comes to delivering effective presentations.
How you make the most out of your time and manage the resources available to you is what will make a BIG difference.
Take these tips to heart and apply them in your next speech or presentation!
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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