Todd’s Public Speaking Tips – Entry 3

I hope to finish this tonight.  I’m planning on telling my public speaking class about the entries on Tuesday and thus stroke my ego and drive my blog stats up…  But it will be unimpressive if the entries aren’t done yet.  Maybe the next bits will all be short.  I am known in certain parts for my brevity.

The Pause – I mentioned before that speeches are notable in that if they are too complex you can lose your audience.  So ending off strong is important – leave the audience with your most memorable phrasing of your main message.  But that is still a message that you want to build to.  So during the speech you need to make sure they have time to appreciate the sub-points along the way.  he pause is that tool.  When speaking any lack of noise seems thunderous and unending.  The instinct is to make it as short as possible or to fill it with joining words or noises (ahs, ums, aaannnd, well and so).  What you actually want to do is to purposefully pause.  Make a point and let it sink in.  Make a joke and give the audience the permission to laugh.  Take a moment to make eye contact with a particular person in the audience an see if they are following along.

The smile – This is more a practice what I write than do as I do point.  A smile during a speech does a number of things.  A person’s voice is more attractive when smiling and an audience will be more eager to listen.  Second a smile provides social lubricant to forming the two way relationship between the speaker and the audience.  People like to return a smile and if the audience does that then you are communicating.  So smile as much as possible without a) looking like a creepy showroom salesperson and b) smiling at appropriate moments during a speech.

Style – So, I’ve said a lot of stuff.  But the key is to try and figure out your own style.  When to break all my rules and when to obey them.  Your speaking style will be uniquely your own.  It is something that can be learned only through practice because your public speaking style isn’t the same as your conversational style.  And once you have a base style you can begin to figure out how to switch it up for different purposes .

Movement – The most important rule about moving in front of an audience is don’t do it.  It is normally distracting.  Distracting bad.  Learn to stand still.  Find a comfortable stance and then don’t move.  No rocking.  No swaying.  Don’t move.  No moving.  Once you can do that you can think about moving.  Apparently there are only four reasons to move.  I heard that once.  But I can only remember three of them.  First, if you are acting out part of the action in a speech.  To the act and then stop moving again.  Second, you can use the stage as a timeline.  Moving from the past (stage right) to the future (stage left) as you go through time in the speech.  Third, you can drop a point on the stage.  Make a point in a particular position.  And then leave that spot to make your next point somewhere else.  The handy thing is you can return to the original spot if you want to invoke that point again.  Fourth, (I’m making this up) I think you can take two sides of a conversation.

And the next point is humour.  I’ve done entire 60 minute presentations of humour in speeches.  Nuts.  I don’t have the energy to do that tonight.  I’ll be back tomorrow.

Sleep tight world or the 0.0000000029% that reads the blog


Rule of triads –

Avoid the known


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