Power Tips for the Business Speaker
by Dana Bristol-Smith
I’ve been captivated by a reality TV show called The Messengers. The Messengers takes 10 budding Inspirational speakers from different parts of the United States. Each week they are given a 24-hour experience designed to shake them up. Week 1 they were homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles, week 2 they worked as day laborers in the fields of a family farm, and week 3 they were disabled, either blind or in a wheel chair and had to make their way in a busy city.
After their 24-hour experience, they have to craft and deliver a 2-minute inspirational speech to a live audience. The weakest speaker is voted off the show. What’s wonderful about this show is the variety of styles – from Darryl who speaks like a Baptist preacher, to Cornelius who is a spoken word artist (and my personal favorite to win), to Robert a down-home, southern construction worker/minister.
As a business professional, I bet you are wondering what you can learn from The Messengers.
Here are my 5 Power tips:
- The Power of a Story: A compelling story can grab attention the hearts of your audience. What personal story can you tell that connects you to your topic and audience?
- The Power of the Pause: Most compelling speakers are masters at the Pause. They know just when to use silence to draw you in. Unfortunately, many business speakers just want to finish their presentations quickly – so they rush through and leave themselves breathless. Don’t be afraid of silence – it’s powerful!
- The Power of Inflection: Use vocal variety in your speech. Change up your volume, emphasize key words, see if you can color your speech with your own emotion and passion for your topic.
- The Power of Animation: Let your body move naturally during your presentations. Get rid of the extra energy that you feel by moving around. Don’t pace or rock back and forth - but do move your feet. Plant your feet and look at the audience when you are making a point. You’ll have a much stronger impact.
- The Power of Eye Contact – Look at people directly in the eyes. Remember, you can only talk to one person at a time no matter how many people are in your audience. Connect, one to one.
I encourage you to check out The Messengers program and listen to the speeches. The past speeches are available online at the website listed below. There are many other tips that you can learn from these speakers, both good and bad. The show is on TV Sunday nights on The Learning Channel. Enjoy!
The Messengers Show Website
About the author
Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility.
You can email Dana at:firstname.lastname@example.org