"Speak like a pro"

Last week, I attended a one-week conference online.
Jenny Blake interviewed several professional speakers, actors, poets and invited them to share with us their experience about public speaking.

What they do:

Before the speech
- Train:
     1) Write the speech / Talk it out loud
     2) Give themselves or friends the speech
- Perform:
     1) Memorize the beginning (30 sec) and the ending (30 sec) of their speech 
     2) Work on transitions
     3) Read the less as possible their notes
- Think of their intentions:
     1) Why am I doing this speech?
     2) What are my goal and the audience's goal?
     3) How can I perform great?
- Relax
     1) Breath: belly breath, 4 sec in - 6 sec out
     2) Use a large gesture

During the speech
- Engage the audience:
     1) Use visuals (drawing, diagramming, mind-mapping)
     2) Give content-Propose practice-Ask for feedback and take-away
     3) Offer a physical experience (ask the audience to stand up, raise the hand, talk with other participants, etc.)
- Their speech:
     1) A clear structure (titles, parts, examples) and a changing rhythm (quick - slow)
     2) Personalized (stories, emotions, humor, quote yourself)
     3) Narrow the topic to few bullet points (Imagine you have only 15 minutes to talk to the world, what would you say?)
- Their attitude:
     1) True, authentic
     2) Fully in the moment, spontaneous (If you can't hide a fact, you have to point it out. For example: an annoying noise, When you forgot your thought you can ask "what was I talking about?")
     3) Respect the timing - Having someone keeping track of the time

After the speech
- Follow-up with attendees
- Work on your performance according to the feedback


What they recommend us to improve our performance:

- Ask for feedback
- Record your performance and watch it. Training in front of a mirror is giving you a distorted experience because you use yourself as a response mechanism.
- Work with a pro, a coach or a mentor. Contact speaking circles or a local/national speakers association.
- Have a strong knowledge of your self. The more you understand your self, the better you're prepared to deal with the emotions.
- Analyse others' practice and the impact on you as a listener. What are they doing that makes the presentation effective?
- Focus pro speech on one skill you want to improve


Personally, I have an important presentation to do next week. Wish me the best!

Posted on September 3, 2014 .