Maybe you’ve just been given your first public speaking gig, or perhaps you’re a veteran. Either way, here are some unique approaches to public speaking to take your public speaking game to the next level.
Who do you look to, to improve yourself as a speaker, or to improve your delivery?
Sometimes when I’m watching speakers at events, I end up looking at my watch, wondering how much longer I’m going to have to endure this talk. Then I saw the power of Tony Robbins in Toronto, who had me on my feet FOR HOURS without even realizing. There’s a definite art to public speaking, and humour and audience engagement is a massive part of it.
What can you take away from stand-up comedy that can help you in your public speaking?
The thing is, when you’re on stage, you don’t necessarily have to use humour as a tool to keep your audience engaged, but it can also be challenging to read the room and to tell exactly how well your talk is going. This is not the case with stand-up comedy, though, which is a great tool to improve your public speaking.
As Taylor makes clear, the method when it comes to stand-up comedy is to work as a boxer and jab until you find the range and then cluster. Use testers to see what your audience wants and then flurry upon that. This type of public speaking is the best way to test this tactic because it’s so easy to read your audience – they’re either laughing, or they’re not!
Mindfulness, taking notes (be that mental notes or on paper), and just general awareness is an extremely effective way to approach public speaking. In the case of stand-up comedy jokes that fail and you won’t tell again, and your ability to perceive what the audience thinks will get better and better. The skills required may be more nuanced, but they’re the same in all types of public speaking.
Some things to look out for and what you want to see
When you’re on stage, look for whether you are getting any engagement from your audience and whether you’re feeling excitement from your audience. A good way of quickly seeing how interested people are is by scanning the crowd of people for anyone that’s leaning forward. Seeing people leaning forward is a sign that they’re playing close attention to you!
As with anything, though, the more public speaking you do, the better you will get, as long as you’re mindful of your audience and willing to tweak things to improve them mid-talk or for your next talk.
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