Speeches, like any public interactions, are not just words on pieces of paper or scripts… they are living organisms, and what makes a great speech is the combination as a system of: the speaker, the speech, the audience, the context.
Thinking so gives us the power to turn speeches –or public interactions- into fascinating conversations.
To achieve that I have my top three elements, more than elements they are desired outcomes.
FIRST – Create curiosity. Curiosity is that little something that keep people wanting to listen and listen more. The title is important for that.
SECOND – Create engagement or rather connection with your audience. Once your audience connect with your content, they can engage with it. This is that little something that tells your audience this speech is really for them, and allows them to make that speech theirs somewhere. We talk about “tailoring the speech to the audience” like a nice outings they can wear in their daily life. Of course to connect with your content, they need to connect with you, the speaker, hence the importance of the delivery style.
THIRD – Make it important. Make it something to care about, something worthwhile giving it some time. For this speak from your heart, and show that you care, bringing passion in your speech; and you’re right the delivery style play an important part here.
Unexpected always happen during public interactions… unexpected replies, unexpected loss of words, unexpected presentation not working, unexpected computer crash, unexpected smiles, unexpected humour.
Let’s have fun with two unexpected exercises.
1 – Exercise ONE: no word at all. Go back to this 2 minutes of speech or conversation you use with our post Exercise: exploring body language. Then bring your friendly friends and organise them into a half circle like a mini-audience. Get yourself to deliver your speech, and go… for the next two minutes deliver your speech in your head connecting with your audience, however not using any words at all –and you will see that you are probably going to drop any movement at all. If easier starts by connecting for 60s without any words (and no rehearsal in your head); and then repeat the exercise rehearsing your speech in your head. Offer your friendly friends to rotate with you that you can experience each situation, speaker and audience.
2 – Exercise TWO: develop your senses and awareness. You may have done that as a kid, you will see it’s good fun. Stop using a sense or a capability for a while in order to appreciate more the others. We often do that with vision, speaking, or listening. For instance, decide for 15 minutes to do everything with your eyes closed and really take a moment to hear every sound around you, but also to smell, taste or feel what your eyes could see. Another fun one which will develop listening is to decide for one conversation not to say a word and actually just listen. If you want to go further, explore doing things differently. An easy example would be: you always carry your bag with your right hand, for one day decide to carry it with your left hand instead.
Both exercises are here to stretch us outside of our comfort zone. And going outside our comfort zone develop our confidence in managing unexpected.
Let me know how it goes, either using the contact page or in the comments section below?
Tomorrow is our Sunday post –our last Sunday post. Indeed we are already reaching our 21st days; time to wrap up our series Speak like a Fish, exploring public speaking in 21 days. See you tomorrow then.
You like our blog series, Speak like a Fish, exploring public speaking in 21 days. Join us then early 2017 and discover our upcoming eBook Speak like a Fish, 30 days to crack the aquarium. Contact us to pre-order your ebook.