Mistakes + Content vs.. Time
An average person speaks 2 – 3 words per second, so a 10 minute talk requires 1500 words (600 seconds x 2.5 words per sec).
1. Of not having a interesting opinion
2. Of not thinking clearly about your points
3. Of not planning ways to make those points relevant to your audience
Butterflies in Formation
What to do before you speak: Practice, Practice & Practice. As you practice, when you stumble or confused, try the following:
1. Can I make this work if I try again?
2. Which slides need a change to synch?
3. A visual or a story be apt here?
4. What kind of lead-in is suitable from previous one?
5. Ripping any part will improve what?
Other stress reducers:
1. Reach early and never rush to venue
2. Perform Sound and system rehearsal early on
3. Try the seat where audience are seated to get their view of stage
4. Get your hunger pangs cured early on
5. Converse with audience early if possible
Theatrics & Managing Tough Crowd
Best place to lecture is lecture room with a raised platform just above the first row and the rows that are in semicircles raising up for the audience to view the stage without difficulty and be comfortable. Similar to amphitheatre but enclosed and built modern.
Worst situation to speak is a big room/auditorium with a few/small people. Energy from speaker is dissipated and its best to politely request the few to congregate at the front few rows. Incentives are best way to entice them to come forward and sit in front.
Dale Carnegie once handled a tough crowd of cynical, tough-minded folks who were critical of his work this way:
I know there’s considerable criticism of my book. People say I’m not profound and there’s nothing in it new to psychology and human relations. This is true. Gentlemen, I’ve never claimed to have a new idea. Of course I deal with obvious, I present, reiterate, and glorify the obvious – because the obvious is what people need to be told. The greatest need of people is to know how to deal with other people. This should come naturally to them, but it doesn’t. I’m told that you are hostile audience. But I plead “not guilty”. The ideas I stand for are nit mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus, and I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use? I’d be glad to listen.
People with courage to speak truth in microphone are exceptionally rare. He handled a tough crowd in a bold, smart and honest way.
Eating the Microphone
Avoid eating the microphone, that’s when audience stop listening and it happens when speaker wanders far away from anything the audience cares about and not because of errors, glitches, typos or momentary confusion.
To prepare well, you must do 4 things:
1. Take a strong position in the title
2. Think carefully of your specific audience
3. Make your specific points as concise as possible
4. Know the likely counterarguments from an intelligent, expert audience
It starts with a great title. for e.g.:
1. The top five problems you have with <insert the thing here> and how to solve them
2. Mistakes I made in <> and what I learned
3. The truth about <> and how it can help you
4. Why <> will change your life forever, for free, right now
With the title and first list to talk about, settle down to a list of 5 strong, interesting, reasonably aligned points, as well as a bunch of wacky, weird, mangled, half-baked stuff and draw a line and make it clear.With this simple outline, good things will happen and this is the structure & clear points of your talk. If any of your props fail & notes become unavailable or lost, you stick on to these points to elaborate them spontaneously to tide over the situation.
How not to bore people by your talk
1. Set the pace: Always set the pace for the audience. People love rhythm and speaker must do this to keep their attention. People drift in & out of focus during speeches and they must be able to rejoin your talk.
2. Direct attentions: Once you’ve everyone’s attention, briefly outline how things will work. Think of your opening as a movie preview: fill it with drama, excitement and highlights for why people should keep listening. The simplest way to do this is by telling stories and your situations.
3. Play your part: Speak louder, take strong positions, and behave aggressively than you would in ordinary contestation. These are the rules for performing.
4. Tension & Release: Tell someone will receive million dollars before this paragraph is over, who’ll win? how’ll they win? suddenly reading this paragraph creates thrill & builds tension. Simplest way to create in your speech is problem & solution.
5. Get the audience involved: Ask for show of hands, ask trivia and people shout out answers, get them a problem to solve
6. Always end early
1. How did the presentation compare to others?
2. What one change would have most improved my presentation?
3. What questions did you expect me to answer that went unanswered?
4. What annoyances did I let get away of giving what you needed?
Whoever it is invites someone to speak to an audience has to sort out:
1. what they (the organizer) want from the speaker?
2. What the audience wants from the speaker?
3. what the speaker is capable of doing?
How to teach
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Strangely this idea being thousands of years old and having enthusiastic support from brilliant people, dew public speakers apply this wisdom. The reason: as difficult lecturing is, giving the audience things to do is much more difficult.
How to make a point
Locomotion: Logic, Character and Emotion – Logos, Ethos and Pathos – as outlined by Greeks in their techniques for rhetoric. When irate passengers in delayed flight go to airlines office with the following way to make their cases heard:
1. Your airlines is wrong
2. I’m special and deserve a seat
3. I’m angry and you should appease me
The 3 approaches fit what that has been outlined some 3000 years ago by Greeks as above. Rhetorical tactics can be found in a book called Thank you for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs (3 Rivers Press)
Sometimes emphasize the right word in a sentence & being silent makes your points very clear.
credit goes to Scott Berkun, www.scottberkun.com