When it comes to creating a more engaging presentation, one of the most important ingredients not to forget is emotion. You’re presenting to an audience of people and no matter what information you intend to share, you’ll do it better if you connect with the humans in your audience in some caring way.
I often point to the heartfelt passion of my five-year-old daughter, Lulu. Yesterday, I shared four speaking tips you can learn from her.
Here’s Lulu telling the story of The Three Little Pigs (in case you didn’t catch it yesterday)
But since she is only five, her passion is also unfiltered and unchecked. And so, now, here are the equally important four speaking habits of Lulu, that you should not do.
- Ramble. Lulu doesn’t rehearse before she tells a story, she just goes! That means she meanders. A lot. One technique is to use anecdotes and stories to illustrate and enforce your main points. Whatever the technique, make sure your audience knows where the important nuggets are. Unlike Lulu, a good presenter doesn’t ramble. He or she rehearses and edits. A lot.
- Maintain a single, rapid-fire pace. When Lulu talks, she has one speed: turbo. Her words tumble out in a breathless river. Don’t do that. Vary your pace like a musical score. Slow down to emphasize a point. Speed up when you’re in an exciting or compelling illustration. Think like a composer, not like Lulu.
- Use “Potty Talk.” Right now, Lulu thinks it’s funny to blurt out the word kaka – not the large New Zealand parrot the dictionary describes, but the Italian (and in plenty of other languages too) slang word for well, poop. It may crack her up, but it never gets the reaction she’s going for from the adults in her audience, aka me, her mother. Be a grown-up. Don’t reduce yourself to comments or jokes that can be construed as dirty, racist, or misogynistic.
- Don’t know when to stop. If you would keep listening, Lulu would go all day. She loves to hear herself speak. Don’t do this! Know when to stop. Keep it succinct. I once wrote a lovely twenty-minute speech for a successful businessman who was about to have an entire section of a university named in his honor. He spoke marvelously for twenty minutes, then veered off into a rambling detour for another hour! The audience’s eyes glazed over and shifted uncomfortably in their seats. It was a disaster. Leave your audience wanting more, not less.
If you combine yesterday’s four speaking Lulu habits that you should do, with today’s four that you most definitely should not, you’re on your way to becoming a more dynamic and engaging speaker.
Do you have a recorded presentation or speech you’d like me to see? Email it to me at GinaLondon.com. I’ll review it for free!
Great speaking with you!