Let’s face it – the most interesting story that you have to tell is the one that you tell about yourself.
At some point in time during your speaking career, you will undoubtedly be asked to give a speech about yourself. Now the good news here is that you are not going to have to do a lot of research to come up with your material – you already know it! However, being asked to speak about ourselves can be a real challenge for some speakers. We generally try to downplay our accomplishments and ignore the importance of public speaking. If we are asked to speak about ourselves it sure seems like we’ll be spending our time boasting. What’s the right way to go about doing this?Let’s face it – the most interesting story that you have to tell is the one that you tell about yourself. At some point in time during your speaking career, you will undoubtedly be asked to give a speech about yourself. Now the good news here is that you are not going to have to do a lot of research to come up with your material – you already know it! However, being asked to speak about ourselves can be a real challenge for some speakers. We generally try to downplay our accomplishments and ignore the importance of public speaking. If we are asked to speak about ourselves it sure seems like we’ll be spending our time boasting.
What’s the right way to go about doing this?
I think that we can all agree that giving a speech is a difficult thing to do.
If you’d like to make things just a bit more difficult, then try to give your speech to a global audience. Now we’re talking about a real challenge! The reason that addressing a global audience and sharing the importance of public speaking with them is so difficult to do well is because of the differences between you and them. The way that you see the world and the way that you express yourself is very different from the way that the rest of the world sees things. This means that what you are trying to say in your speech may become garbled or confused and you may not be able to clearly communicate your points.
What’s a speaker to do?
As speakers, we are seen as being skillful at all types of speeches.
Although we may generally see speaking as writing a speech and then getting up on a stage and delivering that speech, it turns out that due to the importance of public speaking there are many different forms that speaking can take. One of the more common ones is being asked to moderate a panel session. The people on the panel, the smart people, are not necessarily speakers and so it is going to be your job to find ways to allow them to share what they know in a way that your audience will be able to understand.
If you were asked to moderate a panel session, would you know how to go about doing it?
So you are a speaker.
Congratulations. What’s your next step now? Have you ever thought about writing speeches for somebody else? I mean, you can write a pretty good speech for yourself, why not do it for somebody else? You might decide to do this simply because you are a nice person and you want to help somebody out, or you might decide that this is a type of business that you want to go into.
No matter your motivation, do you know how to go about writing speeches that another person will deliver?
The reason that an audience will come to listen to what you have to say in your next speech is that they understand the importance of public speaking and they hope to learn something new.
The thinking is that you have had an experience, done some research, or experienced something that changed you in a way that you will now be able to share with your audience. It is through your words that your audience hopes to experience what you have experienced and by doing so change their lives. However, when you are pulling your speech together you will probably do some research. You’ll find facts and include them in your speech in order to lend more weight to what you’ll be telling your audience. What if the information that you add to your speech is fake news?
What does this mean for your speech and your message?
Let’s face it – sometimes our speeches just don’t “click” with our audience.
We get up there, we deliver our speech, they hear what we have to say, but nobody is moved. Nobody is motivated. We really have not changed the world by giving this speech. We’ve not been able to show this audience the importance of public speaking. Dang. This was a wasted opportunity. What we need to do as speakers is learn how to make our next speech really connect with our audience.
If we can make this happen, then our time will have been spent well.
Let’s face it – you are not the first presenter your audience has ever seen.
In fact, they have probably seen lots of other presenters. However, you would like to be able to use the importance of public speaking to become the presenter that your audience remembers. You’d like this to happen if you are the only presenter that they are seeing today or if they are going to be seeing a lot of different presenters. When your audience goes home tonight, you want your words to be the ones that are still ringing in their ears.
If you want this to happen, then you are going to have to impress your audience.
So of course, the first question is do you know what a TED talk is?
I would suspect that most of us do by now. TED is an acronym that stands for technology, entertainment, and design. There is one big TED event each year at which all sorts of famous people come and present to show off the importance of public speaking and then there are a host of other so called “TEDx” events that are held in cities all over the globe. What all of these have in common is a standard format (18 minutes of speaking time or less) and the videos from these events get posted for the rest of the world to see.
Getting invited to speak at one of these events is a big honor; however, if you get invited will you be ready?
I’m hoping that we can all agree that in this world in which we live in, there are three types of writers out there.
There are the writers who are able to write for the spoken word, writers who are able to write for the written word, and writers who are just flat out bad writers. I’m hoping that none of you fall into that later category.
However, when it comes to writing your next speech, are you going to be writing it to be read off of a page or spoken on the stage?
Let’s face it – because of the importance of public speaking, giving a speech involves a great deal of stress.
This stress has a way of affecting each of us differently. However, there is one thing that can happen to any of us – our minds can go blank at exactly the wrong point in time. Just like me, I’m sure that this has happened to you at one time or another. You are standing in front of an audience delivering your speech and you just got done saying something clever and now you can’t remember what you want to say next.
What’s a speaker to do?
Is there anything in this life that is as scary as getting up on a stage and giving a speech?
There might be, but I’m not sure what it is. Despite knowing about the importance of public speaking we all feel nervous and uncertain about ourselves when we prepare to make a presentation. We’d like to be able to become more self-confident and be able to face our fears head on. The good news is that self-confidence is something that can be learned. We don’t have to grow our self-confidence by making huge leaps, this is something that can increase if we make even the smallest effort.
The key is knowing what you need to do to grow your self-confidence.
When we give a speech, we want to accomplish something.
We want to be effective in using the importance of public speaking to get our audience to start to look at their world just a little bit differently. We want our words to have connected with them and caused them to open their eyes just a little bit more so that they can see the world around them in a different light. When we give this type of presentation we generally use slides and those slides are going to have to help us to accomplish our goal.
How are we going to make this happen?
As a speaker, I must confess that I can get pretty comfortable with the ways that things are.
I use PowerPoint, I have an automatic slide advancer, and I know where to get royalty-free images. I have a bad habit of thinking that I know everything that I need to know I order to share the importance of public speaking. However, it turns out that time marches on. What this means is that things are always changing and that if I really want to stay on top of my speaking game, then I need to be aware of the new technology that has become available to me that will allow me to make my presentations even better.
Let’s take a look at what I was not aware of.
Let’s face it – when we give a speech, we don’t want to go in there defenseless.
If it was just going to be us standing on a stage talking with an audience, we’d all feel rather exposed. To provide ourselves with a sense of cover, we often show up with a deck of slides that we’ll be presenting during our speech in order to share the importance of public speaking with our audience. This does afford us some protection; however, if we do a lousy job of creating the slides then we’ll have sabotaged our presentation and we may just be wasting our time up there.
What does it take to allow a speaker to deliver a killer presentation?
Any time that we give a speech, we want to find a way to ensure that that our speech makes an impact on our audience.
We want to be able to use the importance of public speaking to capture our audience’s imagination, have them pay attention to what we are saying, and with a little luck decide to take action based on what we’ve told them when we are done speaking. What this means is that we’ve got to find a way to connect with them in a way that will really get them fired up. It turns out that we have a tool that we can use that will allow us to do this.
It’s called a story.
Just think about the last time that you sat down to write a speech.
The whole world lay out before you. You could include just about anything that you wanted to in your speech in order to share the importance of public speaking with your audience. You were the master of your own destiny. Or were you? Is it possible that every time that we create a speech, there are some things that we should not include in our speech? Things that won’t help us to make our points clear to our audience?
If these things exist, what do they look like and how can we avoid them?
Just going to the effort of creating and delivering a speech is a big challenge.
However, once you start to spend some time thinking about who you’ll be talking to, this challenge can become an even bigger deal. When we realize that just about every audience that we’ll be talking to will contain people from other parts of the world, this means that we need to tailor our speech so that we can share the importance of public speaking with them and they’ll be able to understand us. Although we may be open to doing this, many of us simply don’t know how to go about making this happen.
We need some suggestions on how to make our next speech one that that the entire world can appreciate.
I’d like to be able to tell you that because of the importance of public speaking, every speech that you give will be a big success.
The reality is that this is not the case. In fact, some speeches that you end up giving might even be classified as being a failure. What’s a speaker to do when this tragic event happens?
It turns out that giving a speech that turns out to be a failure may be one of the most important learning experiences that you will ever have.
What will make your next speech really stick in your audience’s mind?
If you have amazing content and stunning visuals, these are all going to help. However, all too often we don’t have new information that will really rock our audience’s world with the importance of public speaking. Yes, what we are going to be telling them is important; however, we need to find a way to make our words really stand out. It turns out that there is a simple way to make this happen: use some vocal variety.
We all understand that delivering a speech in a monotone is never a good idea, but we may not know what we have to do to make things more interesting just by using our voice.
As speakers we all understand just how tricky humor can be to deal with.
If we want to make things just a little bit more tricky, we can introduce the challenge of trying to deliver a speech to people who belong to a different culture than we do and all of a sudden the whole humor thing becomes that much more difficult.
What’s the best way for a speaker to come across as being funny to different cultures?
The one thing that I think that I can say that everyone will agree with me about is that when we go to the trouble of giving a speech, we want to be remembered.
In order to make this happen, what we say has to use the importance of public speaking to connect with our audience. What we need to understand is that the facts that we include in our speech are not going to be tied to the audience’s emotions and therefore won’t be remembered.
However, if we can work stories into our speech then we will have discovered our greatest tool that we can use to both connect with our audience and engage them.
Isn’t it great when you have time to prepare to give a speech?
At home you can sit down, think about what you want to say, lay it all out on paper and then make changes in order to ensure that your ideas flow smoothly from start to finish. This is all well and good; however, in real life we don’t always get the chance to prepare to give a speech. No matter if its in a business meeting, at an organizational get together, or when we’re hanging out with friends and family, there are times that everyone turns to look at you and you are expected to deliver a speech right then and there.
What’s a speaker to do now?
When we are asked to give a presentation, one of the key questions that runs through our head is “what is the best way to go about doing this”.
I wish that I could tell you that there was just one thing that you needed to make sure that you did in order to ensure that you could use the importance of public speaking to make sure that your audience would get the most out of what you tell them. Of course, this is not the case. Instead, it turns out that there are a number of different things that you need to get good at doing. The real challenge that you and I are facing is that we need to take the time to understand what we should be doing in order to make our presentations work well.
What we need here is some guidance.
We all like to to be recognized for our accomplishments.
What this means is that when we have done something that is memorable, people like to give us awards to celebrate our accomplishments. These are fantastic times – in front of our coworkers, peers, and potentially even our family members and friends, we get to be recognized for our accomplishments. However, it turns out that all of this recognition comes with a price. We need to know the right way to accept an award or else the whole event can come off as being flat and meaningless.
What is the right way for a speaker to use the importance of public speaking to accept an award?
So why do we give speeches?
In all honesty, there are probably a bunch of different reasons. These reasons can range from trying to use the importance of public speaking to provide our audience with new information that they don’t have to trying to win them over to our way of thinking. No matter why we are giving a speech, our goal is always the same: we want to make sure that our audience hears what we are telling them and, most importantly, remembers it after our speech is over and done with. As speakers, all that we really have to work with are words.
How can we use our words to make sure that what we tell our audience will stick in their minds?
The next time that you are asked to host a panel session, are you going to be ready?
We all understand the importance of public speaking and as speakers what we need to do in order to both grab and then keep the attention of our audience. However, with a panel session, even if you have done everything that you can think of to get ready, the final result might still be something skips over the benefits of public speaking and ends up putting your audience to sleep.
What can a speaker do?
So let’s spend a moment or two thinking about the next speech that you will be giving.
You are going to be sitting down to create a speech and all that you are going to have to work with will be words to convey the importance of public speaking. What this means for you is that you are going to want to very carefully choose the words that you believe will allow you to get your message across to your audience as powerfully as possible. What you have laid out before you will be the types of words that we use every day: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.
Which ones should you use?
As a speaker, we control the world when we are on a stage.
Unless there is somebody with a big hook waiting for us offstage, while we are speaking time stands still and our audience only has ears for us as we share the importance of public speaking. However, the biggest problem that we all face is that we don’t yet control the world. What this means is that although we may have been asked to come and give a speech, a great deal can change between when we were asked and when we take the stage. That speech that you have worked so hard to prepare may no longer be the speech that you want to give or your audience wants to hear by the time you are taking the stage.
What’s a speaker to do?
Welcome to the 21st Century.
For some reason everyone seems to be talking about artificial intelligence as of late. What’s the big deal? This stuff used to only exist in science fiction movies and now it sure seems like it is in the process of taking over the world.
The person with the CIO job is going to be affected by the arrival of artificial intelligence and so it sure looks like we are going to have to make sure that we fully understand what is going on here.
As public speakers, we are not always called on to give a speech.
Sometimes, because of our public speaking skills and the importance of public speaking, we’ll be called on to run an event where other people will be speaking. In these cases we’ll be playing the role of the master of ceremonies or an emcee. For many of us this may be a new role to play.
The key is to understand how you can use your public speaking skills to be a successful emcee.
As speakers we’d all like to be able to give speeches that captivate and interest our audiences – that’s what the importance of public speaking is all about.
However, the challenge that we have every time that we sit down to write a speech is coming up with something to say that will be interesting. As hard as this may seem to be to do, it turns out that we all have the answer to this problem. It turns out that the most interesting thing that you have to talk about is yourself.
What we need to find out how to do is to work more of our story into our next speech.
For some odd and strange reason, people seem to think that just because we can do a good job of giving a speech we’d also be able to moderate a panel discussion.
You know what I’m talking about: one of those events where you get a group of people up on a stage and have them talk about something that the audience is interested in. What you may not have realized is that each one of these events has someone running the show – they kick it off, keep the speakers on track, and then wrap things up when times up.
If you get asked, that person is going to be you – will you be ready?
Let’s face it, giving a speech is hard work.
You decide what message you want to convey to your audience, you write out a speech, you practice it, and then on the big day you summon up your courage and, because you realize the importance of public speaking, you deliver it as best you can. This is all fine and good as long as you are going to be talking to an audience of people who are just like you.
However, if you find yourself in a cross cultural situation where your audience is not like you, what is a speaker to do then?
Every time that you have a chance to give a speech, you want it to turn out well.
You’d like to be able to walk off of the stage feeling good about the speech that you gave and because of the importance of public speaking the impact that it had on your audience. In order to make this kind of speech happen, there is a lot of information about your speech that you are going to have to be able to remember and then tell your audience.
There are many different ways to go about doing this, which one is the best?
So why do you even bother?
Why go to all of the effort to give a speech? I mean, if you agree to give a speech you are really signing yourself up to pick a topic, do the research needed, write the speech, practice the speech, and then finally go to the effort of actually delivering the speech. Man, that sure seems like a big commitment. Why do it? If you are like most of us the reason that you are willing to give a speech is because you understand the importance of public speaking and you see this as yet another opportunity for you to persuade an audience to see the world the way that you do. Great thought.
Now just exactly how does one go about persuading an audience?
Speakers understand that if they really want to connect with their audience, they need to find ways to make them laugh during their speech.
By doing this, a connection between the speaker and the audience will be created and this will open your audience up to hearing what you are trying to tell them and they’ll start to understand the importance of public speaking. However, getting an audience to laugh is never an easy thing to do. It turns out that there are a number of different ways that we can go about adding humor to our next speech.
We all have the ability to take the humor that happens in our everyday life and add it to a speech.
Just about everyone who has ever given a speech knows that humor is a very powerful tool.
If you can get your audience to laugh with you, then you will have used the importance of public speaking and grabbed their attention and they will pay attention to what you have to say. Some people seem to be naturally funny and are able to work humor into every one of their speeches. For the rest of us, humor is something that we have to work at. The good news here is that you don’t need to be born funny to use humor in a speech.
You can learn to be funny.
I’d like to be able to tell you that every time that you get asked to give a speech, you’ll be told what the people running the show want you to talk about.
However, as is the case with all such things in real life, it never seems to work out this way. Instead, somebody who is hosting a show realizes that they need another speaker to fill their slots and they come and find you because you understand the importance of public speaking. Great, so you’ve been asked to give a speech, but you have no idea what you’ll be talking about.
What’s a speaker to do?
When we are creating a speech, we’ve got a lot of work to do in order to capture the importance of public speaking.
There’s the opening, the middle, and the ending. Each one of these parts is important. However, we might be able to say that the opening is just a little bit more important because of the impact that it can have on our audience. When we start a speech, our audience is trying to make up their minds as to if they should pay attention to us.
How we begin a speech will determine if they decide to give us their attention…
So why do we go to the effort of giving speeches?
I think that it’s pretty safe to say that the reason that we do this is because we want to use the importance of public speaking be remembered. We want the words that we shared with our audience to remain in their heads long after our speech is over and done with. This presents us with quite a problem. All of us engage in lots of different conversations every day and by the end of the day if you asked us to remember any of them we would be hard pressed to remember them.
What we need to do as speakers is to find a way to add more flair to our next speech.
So here’s a quick question for you: have you ever head of an “elevator pitch”?
If you haven’t, then perhaps I should introduce to you what it is and why it should be important to all of us. The thinking behind an elevator pitch is exactly what its title implies. The thinking is that if you found yourself traveling on an elevator with a very important person who’s attention you wanted to get, what would you tell them? An elevator pitch is designed to allow you to use the importance of public speaking to make an impression in less than 60 seconds.
As speakers who don’t always control how much time we have to give a speech, it turns out that mastering the art of the elevator speech is a critical skill for all of us.
Nobody ever said that giving a speech was going to be something that would be easy to do, but sometimes it sure seems like it is a lot harder than it should be.
What makes creating a speech so hard to do is what we want the speech to do for us: we want to be able to reach out, make a connection with our audience, and then share with them the valuable information that we have for them using the importance of public speaking. Getting a single speech to do all of these things can be quite a challenge.
What is the best way to create a speech that will work for us?
Let’s face it.
The world is filled with a lot of people who are not very good speakers. We have a chance to hear these people speak all the time. Since we have become at least comfortable with speaking if not pretty good at it, what all of this means is that because of the importance of public speaking we now have an obligation. As accomplished speakers, it is our job to help those who have not yet reached our level of speaking to improve. How can we go about doing this?
Simple – by mentoring.
What will the goal of your next speech be?
If you are like most of us, you understand the importance of public speaking and you’ll want to grab your audience’s attention at the start of your speech and then find a way to hold on to it throughout the rest of your speech. Although this sounds like a great thing to do, the challenge that we all run into is that it’s really not all that easy to do. All too often the speeches that we create have no real structure to them and they end up leaving our audiences confused about what the main point of our speech really was. We need to fix this problem.
We need to start to use the triangle.
This has pretty much happened to all of us at one time or another.
We’ve agreed to give a speech and eventually we sit down to write the speech and then bang – nothing comes into our mind. We draw a blank. We might know what we’ve been asked to talk about, we might know our audience, we might know the importance of public speaking, we might know everything, but still we just don’t seem to be able to find a way to start our speech.
What’s a speaker to do when this happens?
If you want to give a speech then you are going to have to write a speech before you give it.
If you are going to write a speech, then at some point in time you are going to have to sit down and start to write it. However, this is the point in time that some of us run into a brick wall. We just don’t seem to be able to get started writing. The fancy term for what’s going on here is called “writer’s block”. There seems to be something intimidating about staring at a blank sheet of paper.
What’s a public speaker to do?
Not every speech that we will give will be the same.
There will be times when you are called on to speak in public where the people running the show won’t actually want you to give a speech. Instead what they are going to want to you do is to act as the master of ceremonies (aka emcee) at their event. What this means is that all of sudden your on stage performance has just become a critical part of the success of their event. If you do a poor job, then you can end up ruining the event. If you do a good job, then you can create an experience that shows off the importance of public speaking and is both engaging and appears to be seamless.
The job of the emcee is to make all of the speakers feel comfortable and to allow the audience to feel included in the program.
This speaking stuff is actually quite hard to do. As with all such things in life, if it is hard to do then there must be people who understand the importance of public speaking and are willing to pay you to do it. Right?
The answer to this question turns out to be “yes”. Once you’ve been speaking for a while you may start to think about “going pro” – having someone pay you to give a speech.
This can open a number of doors for you; however, before you take this step you need to realize that there is a lot that you need to know before you start making your living by giving speeches.
When we are asked to give a presentation, sometimes it comes with a twist.
The twist is that other people have been asked to give the same presentation at the same time. What this means for us is that we are now going to be part of a group presentation and the rules for giving a presentation have now been changed.
A group presentation can be a very powerful thing and can allow us to share the importance of public speaking; however, if we going to do this correctly, then we need to make sure that we know how to go about doing it the right way.
By now I’m pretty sure that most of us are somewhat comfortable with the concept of giving a speech by ourselves.
Yes, it can be a very nerve racking thing to do, but over time we get used to the process of understanding the importance of public speaking and accepting the opportunity, creating a speech, practicing it, and then finally giving it. However, it turns out that this is not the only way that speeches get given. There is also a variant called the group speech. This is exactly what it sounds like: a group of people get up on the stage and they all work together to deliver a single speech.
These can be great speeches to both give and listen to; however, they require special techniques to build them correctly.
When it comes time to deliver a presentation, we don’t always do it alone.
Sometimes we are called upon to participate in a group presentation. These can be tricky to do correctly. No matter who the presentation is going to be given to, we need to realize that the most important thing about the presentation is that it has to give the impression that it was all put together by a single person in order to deliver the importance of public speaking.
This is the challenge that you face every time you get asked to participate in a group presentation.
So how do you feel about your audience?
Do you like them? Maybe we can take this one step further – do you love them? Do you want them to love you? When you consider the fact that your audience probably has never met you before, this might seem like a bit of a stretch goal even if you understand the importance of public speaking. However, as a speaker you have some pretty incredible powers.
You have the ability to make your audience fall in love with you if your speech can seduce them, engage their minds, and finally win their hearts.
When we give a speech, one of our goals for giving the speech is to find a way to use the importance of public speaking to convince our audience about something. In order to sway their opinion, we often go looking for data that will support the point that we are trying to make.
Although data can be a powerful tool that can help us to get people to agree with our point-of-view, it can also turn an audience away. If we use too much data in a speech or if we present it in a way that causes our audience to tune out, then we will have hurt our chances of convincing our audience.
How can use a speaker use data in the right way?
For some odd reason, technical people seem to have a deep set fear of speaking in pubic.
Now I’m a technical person, so I feel a personal linkage to this issue. Where does this problem come from? I think that the problem originates from the fact that people who have dived into a technical field more often than not are less extroverted than other people. They will often go to great lengths to avoid having themselves placed into situations where they will be required to speak in public. This can be a real disadvantage for them because often they have a great deal of technical information that they need to share with others.
How can we go about fixing this problem?
It takes a lot of effort to create a speech.
You have to write it, practice it, and eventually deliver it. As long as we are going to all of this effort and because of the importance of public speaking, it sure seems as though we should also be trying to find ways to grab our audience’s attention and hold on to it throughout our speech. As easy as this is to say, it turns out that it’s actually quite difficult to do. One thing that we need to understand is that we know how we view the world. However, what a lot of us don’t know is how the world views us.
If we can figure this out, then we can become more confident and even more authentic to our audiences and we’ll be able to grab on to their attention.
How good of yeller are you?
I mean, if you were giving a speech in a really big room that was crowded with people, could you yell your speech loud enough to make sure that even the people in the back could hear what you were saying? If you are like me, you might be able to do this for a while, but you sure could not do it for an entire speech. That’s why we need help when we find ourselves in situations like this. This is when the microphone comes in to play. However, it turns out that using a microphone is not as simple as it might initially appear.
There is a right way to go about doing this and a wrong way.
As speakers, every time that we deliver a speech, we’d like to be able to use the importance of public speaking to draw our audience into our speech.
We’d like to make it so that they experience what we are telling them. A great way to make this happen is to include stories in our speech. Stories allow us to introduce outside characters, move the talk to a new location, and if we want even to move through time. However, a story can be a tricky thing to include in a speech.
As speakers we need to make sure that when we include a story in our speech, we go about doing it the right way.
Don’t get me wrong – data is a wonderful thing.
However, as speakers we need to be very careful when we encounter data that we want to share with our audience. It can be too easy to just back the truck up and dump a lot of facts and figures onto our audience with the hope that they’ll be able to sort them out. The answer is that they are not going to be able to understand what we’ve shared with them and they’ll leave our presentation confused and lost.
What this means for us is that when we try to use statistics and numbers to sway our audience, it’s going to be much better if we show them what we mean instead of telling them what we mean.
The reason that we are willing to give a speech is because we understand the importance of public speaking and we want to be able to connect with our audience. We want the words that we say to change their world.
There are a number of different ways to go about doing this and each one of them has their benefits and distractions. However, one of the most powerful ways to ensure that your next speech will be remembered is to add humor to it.
If you can get your audience to laugh with you during your speech, then there is a good chance that they’ll remember what you told them.
So the question is do you want to become a better public speaker? If the answer to this question is “yes”, then the next question has to be “how?”
It turns out that there are a lot of different answers to this question and some of them work, and some don’t. Through trial and error and experimentation, what has been found to work is for public speakers to engage in some improv.
It turns out that spending your time doing this is a great way to engage in exercises that will boost your spontaneity and allow you to hone your communication skills.
In the world of public speaking, there are a number of different types of speeches that we can give. One of the most difficult speeches is called the roast. Just in case you’ve never given a roast before, a roast is intended to both honor and gently tease the guest of honor in front of his coworkers, family, and friends.
All too often what speakers forget is that a roast is not done to punish the person being roasted, but rather to honor them and pay tribute to them. The problem is that many roasts are not done very well and end up leaving the person being roasted feeling bad.
What’s the right way to do a roast?
Any time that we give a speech, we’d like that speech to be remembered by our audience. In order for that to happen, we need to use the importance of public speaking to make sure that the content of our speech is something that is going to capture the attention of our audience.
We all know that stories are a great way to make this happen. The big question that we need to answer is if stories are appropriate for a business speech. The good news is that they are.
When we use a story to allow our audience to visualize a situation it permits them to empathize, appreciate, and identify with what we are talking about. Now all you have to do is get good at telling business stories!
I bet that your next speech is going to be great! You’ve got an exciting topic, your audience wants to hear what you have to say, and you’ve created a speech that virtually crackles with great content.
However, you can still blow this speech and take away from the importance of public speaking. If instead of delivering a tasty speech with great content to your audience you instead provide them with a speech that is stuffed with filler words like “and”, “um”, “ah”, and even “so” then you will have failed in your attempt to win their hearts and minds.
What’s are speakers to do?
I’m sorry to have to be the one to share this with you, but when you are giving a speech your audience really does not care about you.
Oh yeah, you picked a topic that you thought would appeal to them, you have some experience or expertise in this area that you told the world about in order to get people to show up for the speech, and so on. However, as your audience sits there in those uncomfortable chairs, it turns out that they really don’t give a darn about you.
Instead, when it comes to your speech, they want to know whats in it for them. How are you going to make this happen?
As speakers we understand the importance of public speaking and so we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to say in our next speech. We’ll worry about what words to use, how we should stand when we are on stage, and the importance of making good eye contact with our audience.
However, it turns out that there is something even more important than this that we should be spending our time thinking about. We should really be spending our time thinking about our audience. Just exactly who are they? Perhaps even more importantly, where did they come from?
I think that we can easily answer this question when our audience is a local audience, but what are the correct answers when we are dealing with a global audience?
As we are putting together our next speech, we may get caught up in the moment and the importance of public speaking. We have so many great things that we want to share with our audience that we we keep adding more and more content to our speech in order to make sure that we share all of it with them.
This, of course, brings up a significant problem for every speaker. We have only been allocated so much time in which to give our speech. We need to make sure that we don’t run over the time that we’ve been given.
What’s a speaker to do?
When you give your next speech, how do you think that your audience will be judging you? It turns out that, not unsurprisingly, a big part of how your audience will be judging you is going to be based on how your voice sounds to them.
You may not be aware of it, but as humans, we are wired to have our emotions, memories, and in some cases even thoughts automatically triggered when we hear someone else’s voice. What this means for you as a speaker is that you are going to want to make sure that your audience likes listening to your voice so that they can experience the importance of public speaking.
How can you go about making this happen?
Before we look at some strategies to help you position your message for a favorable response, I encourage you to first look inside yourself. How do you approach asking? Are you an asker or a guesser? Let’s talk about both.
Some people are fine with asking questions without regard for the outcome. In other words, they’re fine with asking anything at all and are readily willing to accept no. Other people fall into the guesser category. Those in this category avoid making “the ask” without being pretty certain the answer will be yes. People in this category will often put out feelers to better predict the outcome. These people often ease into the ask, or don’t even have to make it at all. By edging closer and closer to the desired outcome, their audience will often be persuaded through this strategic, indirect approach to persuading.
Let’s explore three ways of positioning...
So here’s an interesting question for you: could you drive your car if it didn’t have any mirrors. I’m thinking that the answer would be yes, but boy-o-boy would we all be nervous as we first backed up, and then headed off down the road. We’d have no idea what was behind us or what might be passing us on either side.
Driving would turn into a bit of a nightmare. Now we all do have mirrors on our cars and that’s a good thing. However, it turns out that those mirrors are not perfect – we can still have blind spots where things (cars, people, bikes, etc.) can exist and we can’t see them. This can be a big deal.
Is it possible that when we are giving a speech we may also have blind spots that we don’t know about?
As speakers, we really don’t have all that many tools that we can work with to show the importance of public speaking when we are delivering a speech to an audience. Sure we have our voice and some body language, but is there anything else that we can use to give some impact to our speech?
It turns out that the answer is yes: the stage that we are standing on. All too often, speakers don’t fully understand how to make the best use of this wonderful tool. It’s there to help you to transform your speech into a spellbinding presentation.
So can we take just a moment and talk about being funny? It sure seems like some speakers have no problem getting their audience to laugh. They take the stage, they open their mouth, and almost instantly everyone is giggling and laughing. Then there are the rest of us.
Clearly they understand the importance of public speaking. Look, I like to laugh just as much as the next person; however, getting other people to laugh has always been a bit of a challenge for me. What to say? When to say it? How to say it?
Well, it turns out that there is a fairly simple way to get people to laugh – you just have to know how to twist your words.
When you stand up in front of an audience to give a speech, something happens to you. You are transformed from just another person who happens to be in the room into the person that everyone is going to be listening to.
What’s interesting about this transformation is that it has to have an impact on your voice also. However, sometimes when I’m listening to a speaker I’ll realize that they didn’t transform their voice and it’s impacting the speech that they are giving.
Do you change your voice when you give a speech?