Countless speech evaluations in my seminars I started asking, What did you like about the speech?
10 plus patterns, 10 success boosters regularly pop up during these moderated evaluations. From professionalism to authenticity – use them and you’ll increase your level of success in public speaking.
A poised, professional, serious appearance combined with a calm voice and non-hectic movements, generally, is well perceived by your audience. It conveys authority and credibility, hence ethos. It’s a style that suits many people, especially those who are more the rational, logos-based types and those with a more introverted personality.
Think about your key message. Think about what makes your product or service different from others. Think about a phrase that pays in your speech. These are great opportunities to use a prop, a visual aid. You can support your content peaks showing a creative and metaphorical prop. Are you a computer network expert? You can use a Spiderman figurine to make your message more memorable. Are you a frozen food salesman? Bring along a basket of fresh strawberries and tell the person who opens the wooden door that your frozen strawberries are fresher.
There are two categories of hand gestures – meaningful gestures and meaningless gestures. Angela Merkel’s diamond? No meaning. Hand washing? No meaning. Praying? No meaning. Twisting your wedding ring? No meaning. You can add meaning by painting pictures and images with your hands. The height of your son, the round ball, playing the guitar – these are all meaningful gestures. And your audience loves them!
The emphasis in vocal variety is on variety. Nevertheless, a strong, loud and clear voice will always be on your plus side. When you even add variety in pacing and pausing, in pitch and volume, they’ll give your voice a super plus!
By far, your most important word – the silence. TBD – You can THINK, you can BREATHE, and, above all, you can DRAMATIZE your content. Use much longer pauses. When you think your pause is too long add two more seconds and you won’t even be close to excellence in pausing.
Imagine a Native American tribe leader sitting at a lonely fireplace somewhere in the cold desert of Nevada. Shadows of flickering flames are dancing on his wrinkled face. When he speaks everyone stops talking. That man is a wise man. Wisdom is a charisma driver. Your audience treasures your wisdom. You can share wisdom by citing historical celebrities. You can share wisdom by quoting educational phrases from your mom. For me, your own lessons learned in life generate the most inspirational wisdom. Every paragraph starting with I learned my lesson well… improves the quality of your speech content.
When you write an article, a report or a novel you write for the eyes. A narrative is for the eyes; public speaking is for the ears. It’s a different world. Sentences are shorter. Your content must be more active, vibrant, vivid. A great way to spice up your content is the use of dialogs. Dialogs with moms, dialogs with bosses, dialogs with colleagues, spouses and friends. Dialogs are for the ears. Don’t explain what people said. Instead, enter the reliving-room and relive the exact dialog on stage.
Who’s the king – the sales guy or his client? Who’s the client – the speaker or the audience? Your audience is king and there’s a way to make them feel that they’re the true protagonists of your speech – interaction. In PlusPlus – Patterns for Better Communication you’ll learn about three ways of interaction – questions, references and dialogs. Interact with your audience; it’s always a plus.
When you make your audience laugh, your audience loves you! In my seminars, every time someone mentions humor as a plus pattern, I ask the feedback provider about the exact pattern of humor. What pattern did the speaker use to make us laugh? Was it self-deprecation or irony or exaggeration or saying the unexpected or the fall of the alpha dog? Humor’s a pattern; you can program any laughter. Your audience wants to laugh and you’ll make them laugh.
It’s always the same. Every time someone speaks in a super authentic way, the first feedback provider says, “Wow, how authentic!” Your audience wants to see the authentic you. Since authenticity is the result of a mix of ingredients, I always ask my seminar participants about the reason. Why do they perceive this person as an authentic speaker? In the end, it shows that two main ingredients influence your level of authenticity.
Authenticity = Sincerity + Vulnerability
Be sincere on stage; be emotionally naked wearing clothes. Then, you’ll be authentic! It’s like math. Based on my experience, authenticity will always be your biggest success booster in public speaking!