Thursday, November 22, 2007

Things You Wish You Know That Will Guarantee Your Speaking Success

This is an excerpt of the article 250 Things You Wish You Know That Will Guarantee Your Speaking Success

  • Public Speaking is the #1 fear for most people, surpassing the fear of death. At least you won’t be tormented with this unnecessary fear anymore.
  • Start with a bang! Give the audience a startling statistic, an interesting quote, a news headline – something powerful that will get their attention immediately.
  • The two main arsenal of a speaker is his stories and analogies. The better his stories and analogies, the more he get paid. (Thanks Darren La Croix for the tip!)
  • Trust in the power of the word “because”. Psychological studies have shown that people are more likely to comply with a request if you simply give them a reason why… even if that reason makes no sense.
  • Tell a story, make a point.
  • No pain, no action. If you want to get your audience into action, you need to first understand where their pains are. Once you have identified that particular pain, poke at it. Recreate the scenario so that they can re-experience the pain, both physically and emotionally. When you have successfully brought your audience to that state, they will be begging you to offer them a remedy or a quick solution to rid them of the pain.
  • Take extra effort to remove all your pause fillers from your speech. Common culprits include “urm”, “ah”, “so”, “you know”, “hmm” etc. They are known to reduce your credibility ten folds. One way of overcoming them is to get used to the silence.
  • Pause…leave them wondering. Grab their attention, and then start.
  • The key to grabbing attention is surprise. The key to keeping attention is interest.
  • A powerful story has four elements - it makes you think, makes you feel, makes you laugh and most importantly, it delivers a message that can change your life.
  • Don’t try to impress. Instead try to, share, help, inspire, teach, inform, guide, persuade, motivate… or make the world a little bit better.
  • Ask a question that gets your audience thinking.
  • Get your audience to agree with you many times, as early as possible. It’s hard for them to say no when they have say yes to you 20 times.
  • Have social proof. Quotes from famous people adds a lot of credibility to your speech.
  • Stories are only an asset to your speech if you bring your audience into your story through a “U”-centric question. For example, “Have YOU ever step on a scale and was forced to face reality?” And then you proceed with your story.
  • Stop asking WHY. (Why am I so sucky in speaking? Why did the audience look so bored?) Try asking HOW. (How can I be less sucky? How can I make the audience interested in what I have to say?) Why gets you defensive and stuck. How gets you moving forward.
  • Play simple games with them and make them look good. Embarass them and no one will participate in your activities.
  • The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten.
  • Before you go up on stage, recall an incident where you were successful. Re-experience the emotions, be it excitement, pride, joy, euphoria. If you want, you can clench your fist and do the Tiger Wood “Yes!” gesture.
  • Don’t just obey the speaking rules just because they are rules. Instead, question the rules! Every rule is there for a reason. Understand the reason behind it and you can better decide if you should stick to the rule or do something different.
  • By all mean thank your audience. They deserve it contrary to popular beliefs. However, don’t you think it is a waste to thank them at the end of your speech when you can do something more impactful and memorable? My suggestion is to thank them, before you deliver your conclusion.

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