When it comes to 1)rallying the troops, there are few things more 2)m align than the company 3)pep talk, and usually for good reason. In general, people are terrible speakers. And while I am usually 4)railing against motivational speakers as an ineffective band-aid for sound leadership policies, a great speech can still be a wonderful tool for re-energizing your staff. Unfortunately, public speaking still tops most people’s list of biggest fears, and there have been precious few improvements over the years.
I’ve taught hundreds of people, from lawyers to leaders how to improve their public speaking skills with just a few easy steps, and today I am going to share them with you.
I’m Francisco Dao, founder of Strategy and Performance.
So what’s the secret of delivering a winning speech? Here are five things you need to know.
One. Treat your speech like a performance. Most people find the pressures of delivering a public speech terrifying, and they let their nerves negatively affect their delivery. To help you overcome this, think of your speeches as performances, like an athlete. Remember, people are not judging you as a whole; they’re only looking at how you deliver your talk. This technique is actually drawn from sports psychologists, who found that championship 5)caliber athletes create a performance 6)persona, and stay in this character for the entire game. When you walk up on stage, you want to be able to transform, and be ready to put on your “A” game, just like Michael Jordan.
Two. Power Point is not your friend. Despite its popularity, Power Point does not make you a better speaker. Slide shows and screen presentations should be used sparingly to increase dramatic effect, or only if needed to communicate data, such as numbers. Unless your speech is several hours long, and you have precise notes to convey to the audience, you should never have more than a handful of slides. Ask yourself, “What’s more interesting? You? Or a bunch of Power Point slides?” If youdon’t believe you can be more interesting to an audience than a slide show, you probably shouldn’t be giving a speech. A good speaker should never need slides to outline their talk, or emphasize key points.
第二,Power Point演示文稿不是你的朋友。虽然使用Power Point是很流行,但它并不会让你的演说变得更好。减少幻灯片和屏幕演示的使用更能增加它们所产生的戏剧效果,或者只在需要显示数据,例如数字时使用。除非是你的演说长达好几个小时,你有必要向观众传达准确无误的信息,否则绝对不要拿出一大堆幻灯片。问问你自己:“是什么更让人感兴趣?你?还是一堆Power Point幻灯片?”如果你不相信自己能比幻灯片更吸引观众,也许你就不应该发表演说。一个好的演说者永远都不应该依靠幻灯片来概述他们的演说或强调关键点。
Three. Pay attention to your audience. Just because an audience isn’t actually talking to you, don’t think that a speech isn’t still a two-way conversation. Pay attention to your crowd and look and listen for clues to how they’re responding to you. Are they shifting in their seats? Are they 7)groaning and 8)yawning? Are they focused on you? Or are their eyes wandering toward the exits? If you want to connect with your audience, you need to learn how to notice these clues, and adjust accordingly to recapture your audience’s interest. Always keep in mind that a speech is really just a conversation between one, and many.
Four. Learn how to make a mental movie. A great speaker knows how to use stories to paint a mental picture for their audience and move them to a place beyond their seats in the crowd. Like a good movie this is done using pictures, sounds and feelings. Great speakers go beyond “facts tell, stories sell” and they learn to color their stories with detailed visuals and familiar sounds that 9)elicit a personal, emotional response from their audience. Do this well and your speech will transcend facts and words, and become a vivid and engaging mental journey that your audience won’t soon forget.
Five. Don’t be afraid of pauses, pacing and passion. A lot of people think speaking fast, and consistently loud, makes for a good speech. The reality is, it is usually the exact opposite that distinguishes an exceptional speaker. Many people feel awkward if there is a silent pause on the stage, or their nerves make it difficult to control the pace of their delivery. Others are afraid to display passion, for fear of being overly dramatic. If you want to develop your speaking skills to the highest level, you must learn to embrace these important techniques. A dramatic pause can build anticipation, and bring an audience to the edge of their seats. Varying your tone and pacing creates emphasis on key topics and keeps people engaged. And unless you are truly a 10)drama queen, nearly everyone errs on the side of being too reserved. So feel free to speak with passion and let your audience know this is a topic that matters to you.
Master these five steps, and watch your speeches go from dry to dynamic. That much I can promise.