The essence of Public Speaking

A Process:

This public speaking has processes, steps and patterns. If one can diligently practice those things, they can become awesome public speakers. We all have these limitations, fears and the anxiety when we are to give a speech to a group of people. But in today’s economy, it is a must that people stand up and speak their ideas. As I mentioned the art of public speaking is a series of steps or process. We put them together and practice for a while we can become a good speaker. Nancy Duarte is one of the people who understand what presentation is and she has actually developed a shape for an effective presentation. Using that shape as an analysis tool, she proved that how two great speeches are very similar. She took two of the most remembered speeches, one Martin Luther king Jr.’s I have a dream and the other is Steve jobs 2007 iPhone introduction pitch. She actually proved that those two speeches are very similar to one another.

Check this Ted talk by her.

Mike Pacchione is one of the leaders who teach public speaking to leaders and corporate employees. He lays out a seven step process to make any presentation a great public speaking endeavor. The seven steps, which I shall walk through in a moment, may seem as basic of public speaking, but many people miss these basic points. When these seven points are arranged properly in a speech, then the synergic effect takes place and the presentation goes to entirely another level.

So those seven steps are:

  1. Establish the problem
  2. Create empathy and similarity
  3. Prove authenticity
  4. Have a bonding
  5. Push the audience to take action
  6. Be a guide and let them know the traps
  7. Have a conclusion that empowers the audience

Now let’s see them in detail

Have a great first line:

According to him, the first 7 to 10 seconds are the most valuable time in presentation. But most of the people waste that time by introducing themselves, whom they work for and how good they are at the particular topic. If you have watched Nancy’s video above, she emphasis that both the speeches started with introducing the topic of the speech, not with introduction of the speaker. So hit the audience with what they would expect from this speech in the first 10 seconds to your speech.

Be vulnerable:

Share your vulnerabilities, to have the connect with the audience. But be very careful, that you can lose the authority, you are trying to establish with the audience. You have to seem both confident and also as a person who has failed and got up. Share some stories of your mistakes and be sure to tell how you got out of it too. This display of empathy helps you to connect with audience, immediately. This even helps if you forgot some points on the speech and ramble, you can always state that and tell “see, this happens” and then hit the audience with an interesting fact. In that case you are like them and also you are above them at the same time.

Back up with evidence:

Everyone will agree when I say, that story telling is one of the best ways to present an Idea. At the same time the story that is being told should have some kind of evidence backing up the idea, we want to convey. That Is the test of authenticity for the speaker. If the crowd realizes the evidence that is backing up the idea in the story, then the audience will be glued to the story and the idea. It is good if we can bring up some hard science based evidence, which again should be mix of familiarity and novelty. This step gives the authenticity to the speaker to carry forward his ideas.

Use Anecdotes:

The Most loved ted talk is by Mr. Ken Robinson. Currently it stands on 50,365,208 views. Most of the talk is filled with anecdotes. People like to hear stories and these stories become far more interesting if it is of another real person, who has been there, done that. The Nancy Duarte’s ted talk too has anecdotes in considerable amount. So the speaker is now bonding with the audience and usage of anecdotes help the speaker do that, effectively. Only thing is to make sure that anecdotes should be powerful to change the experience of the audience. All powerful presenters also back up the anecdotes by data.

Have a short term and long term “call to action”

Most Presentations if not all end abruptly. There is a purpose for a presentation, right? But most speakers, especially in the corporate arena, assume people would get that purpose on their own. It is the duty of the presenter to call the audience to action. In the current scenario, the most possible call for action is to ask “Any Questions, please?” This won’t suffice as a call to action. It has to be like “Email to this id to get a worksheet based on this presentation, or text this number to get a four part video series on the topic”. This is where the speaker becomes the mentor, who Nancy mentions in her video.

Tell the audience of the traps:

In a story, what do you think is more interesting? The hero getting into the trap would be most interesting part in any story. We are wired that way. Our brain learns from negatives more from the positives. That is one of the main reason we have survived so far. So using this well in your presentation makes you a credible guide who genuinely wants to help them avoid the pits. If you are a master presenter, the possibility is you have simplified the concepts too much to the audience and they feel, “yeah, yeah, we can do it”. This is where the speaker has to be a guide and say “Now you might think, this is simple, but…….”or “we have seen people taken this lightly and this happened …….”. These exposing of traps makes the presenter or the speaker a guide who wants the audience to be benefited.

Have a great closing line:

The Closing is very important, if the presentation has to be effective. The closing should always follow an anecdote or a video, which emotionally empowers them and conclude by saying one line. Just one line that makes them feel confident, powerful and cheerful. This act of closing is like assuring that they are ready to go and tackle the problem that is discussed in the presentation.

You can reach me here for further discussions on this

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