“I’m concerned about the concepts of my speech,” Rita, a new client, said.
For a time, I helped her with that. Still, there was a vital aspect of giving a speech that was too low on her priority list: 4 Vital Elements of the Speech need to land with the audience.
You’ll do well when you focus on these 4 Vital Elements which include: Ideas, Humor, a Dash of Appropriate Vulnerability, and Connection with the Audience.
Picture an Olympic gymnast spinning in the air and then landing. To “stick the landing” means that the gymnast lands and does not move her feet. If she moves her feet at all, points are deducted.
You want to avoid loosing points with the audience. I’m bringing this to the attention of two of my clients as we prepare their TED Talks. You must guard against losing points with the audience. You need to land these elements:
- Dash of Appropriate Vulnerability
- Connection with the Audience
Big ideas plus NO audience connection equals an Epic Fail.
So Rita was appropriately concerned about the concepts of her speech, but she must take care to have a real connection with the audience. By the way, when you do what is necessary for that real connection, you eliminate a lot of fear and nervousness!
The solution is Effective Rehearsal.
TED Talk advisors suggest one rehearses every day. That is not enough. Instead, you need Effective Rehearsal. Just rehearsing by yourself or in front of a spouse or a friend does not insure your best performance.
I have devised Extreme Confidence Techniques (You can find many of them in my book Amazing You: Enjoy the Power … featuring Secrets of Extreme Confidence. Look inside the book when you CLICK HERE.)
Using Extreme Confidence Techniques, you can eliminate unnecessary nervousness. Conventional confidence is about feeling good about your retention of the text or content of your speech. That is merely the start.
As a professional speaker (member of National Speakers Association) for over 16 years, I can feel when I (or a client) lands each of the 4 Vital Elements of the Speech – or pitch.
The truth is: You need to get in front of Test Audiences.
I work with clients in-person and even over Skype (especially with their tight schedules). There is a change of energy when you’re performing in front of a camera in front of a professional speech coach. You can feel the adrenaline build. It’s similar to what I experienced in learning karate. You can “punch the air.” But a whole different energy built on adrenaline rises when you spar with an opponent.
The audience is not your opponent. The audience wants you to lead in a form of dance. You’re the speaker; you’re the leader. We’ll use the following process: Bring your best out into the S.U.N.
S – set up a schedule
U – up your game
N – notice what moves people
- Set up a schedule
Do NOT leave things to chance. Set up a schedule so you rehearse and present to friends (and your coach) on Skype and in-person.
If you belong to Toastmasters, contact various groups to be a guest speaker. At one point, I was preparing for a speech, and I expressed my speech 11 times with different individuals. Then, I delivered sections of the speech in various settings with audiences.
Some of my rehearsals were even over the telephone. My speech blossomed and changed as I felt the ideas and feelings coalesce. By the way, I worked with my own mentors and coaches.
- Up your game (with a coach)
Here’s the truth: When you’re about to give the most important speech of your life (perhaps, a TED Talk or an all-hands speech at your company—or a pitch for crucial funding), you need the guidance of a professional coach.
Think about it. An Olympic athlete can only rise to her best performances WITH a coach. (I know this for a fact because I’m the coach to a sports psychologist who has coached over 100 Olympic athletes, including 15 Gold Medalists).
A TED Talk is the Olympics of Speaking. The coach sees what’s working. The coach knows what to look for in the response of the audience.
As the Spoken Word Strategist, I’ve presented hundreds of times to audiences. I can feel how the audience responds. I can feel the vacuum or gap when the humor misses. I know how to adjust, even one word, to get the big laughter for a particular moment.
As a speech writer, I’ve written over 1 million words (many are in my 43 books).
I serve as a coach who helps the speaker discover what is true and compelling as spoken words from her mouth. The client “talks through” the speech. I often say, “Ooh! Did you hear what you said? Keep that!”
Then, holes in the speech appear on my radar. As a Pitch Coach, I can feel the gaps. (Also, you can realize that, as a feature film director, I have guided actors to their best performances. The film director stands in for the audience.)
For example, one of my clients asked me to watch a video of his test speech. While viewing the video, I could feel it: The audience had shut down. I said to my client, “They need you to reconnect with your family member. So, did you hug her or—?”
“Oh, no. I’m not talking about hugging,” he replied. This was a taboo for this client from a particular culture.
With my encouragement, he added this to his final speech: “And that’s when I took her hand and said, “I’ll never let go.’ And I never have.”
The audience needed to have that sweet moment. I know this by instinct.
You need someone guarding you so you rise to your best performance. Up your game by working with a professional coach.
- Notice what moves people
The only way to know what works (and to save yourself from unnecessary fear) is to try out the material in front of test audiences. Stand-up comedians try out material in various venues across the United States before they record a final comedy special for Netflix.
The plan is to notice what moves people. I’m talking about moving the audience AND finding out what moves you.
You will not know what feels real and comfortable coming out of your mouth, until it’s “Showtime!”—when you’re in front of an audience.
There is a real problem about just rehearsing in front of a friend or spouse. They get tired of the material. Soon their responses are not “tuned in” to what an audience would feel and think upon hearing you—for the first and only time.
In summary, standard rehearsal does not yield your best performance.
S – set up a schedule
U – up your game (with a coach)
N – notice what moves people
One of my editors for one of my books said, “Writing is a two-person endeavor. The writer works with the editor.” It can be said, “Rising to your best performance is also a two-person endeavor. Additionally, the speaker and the professional coach get real feedback from test audiences.”
The best to you in giving your pitch or speech.
Spoken Word Strategist
This material is on my mind because I have now opened a special opportunity. When you CLICK HERE, you can go to my questionnaire-webpage and apply for a free consultation with me (limited number available) titled: “Increase Your Pitch Power for Funding – Strategy Session.”
Here are Your BENEFITS of such a free consultation.
- Gain Clarity and Peace of Mind about Pitching so You Gain the Funding you really want
- Discover the essential building blocks for having the Pitch that FUNDS your business or project
- Determine the #1 thing stopping you from having the Successful PITCH you want
- Identify the most powerful actions that will move you toward giving your Pitch with Total Confidence
- Complete the consultation with the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to create the Pitch for Funding that Gets You Great Results
I invite you to apply.
Let’s see if we might get the chance to work together … as a free opportunity to you.
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