I’ve had a few days to think about #HPSLive, where Michael, Amy, and co dropped a metric-ton of knowledge.
I will say, it opened my eyes up to what great speaking truly is. A few things I’d like to note:
- Speaking is a craft, not a talent. I’ve always believed this, but I’ve hit a new level of appreciation. The little details add up quickly.
- Public speaking is a performance. When you come in with the mindset that you’re “performing” it helps you change your perspective on what you are precisely offering to your audience.
- How important the precision in movement is. Akin to dancing, it’s about smoothness and exactness any time you do move. And if you don’t need to move, don’t. Root yourself.
- Contrast is key. And the contrast isn’t just in your voice. It’s in your body movements. It’s in the structure of your talk (eg information vs story vs lists). The high-lows are what keep people riveted.
- People’s minds wander. That’s OK; by speaking with pauses that emphasize the key points, you let them catch up and stay with you.
- Rehearsal is important. If anything, a little rehearsal is dangerous as you’ll be trying to recall it while performing. Get your reps in so that you know exactly what to hit and when to hit it.
- You want people to feel your story. The contrasts, the body language, the text, the tone, and the pauses let people SEE what you’re talking about and help what you’re saying resonate with your audience.
- Q&A is non-ideal. The ideal is to have your talk, have a break, and then Q&A. If you do have a Q&A, make it 3/4th of the way through so that *you* control the ending.
- Have a superobjective to your talk. It’s like your North Star… without it, your speech will fail.
I fashioned myself as an above average speaker before, but I can now see 100+ things I need to improve to level this skill up.