Effective public speaking is a vital skill for the aspiring Exuberant Animal teacher-trainer. For most, proficiency in this art requires considerable practice; you may have to make a fool out of yourself a few times before you're comfortable. Nevertheless, it is essential that you expose yourself to live audiences and diverse groups. Good places to begin include Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, schools, etc.
What we're looking for is NPR/TED quality. The emphasis is on communication. Assume a general audience of smart non-specialists.
Be sure to see Ken Robinsons TED talk.
Good speakers present with...
- Authority: Do your homework.
- A balance of gravity and levity
- Fluid movement up and down the ladder of abstraction
- Brevity! No matter how long your rap is, it probably needs to be shorter.
- For slide shows, figure one slide per minute as a rough average. Slides are valuable, but it's ultimately about your words and your story. Use the slides to jog your memory, but don't be dependent on them. As for reading the slides out loud, this is considered poor form. Do this for emphasis, on occasion, but sparingly.
- Make it personal and authentic. Tell stories that people can relate to.
- Plan and rehearse, but be willing to deviate from the plan. A mix of scripted material and improv is the most interesting way to go.
- Think action. What kind of transformation do you want for your audience? What will they feel like when they leave?
Use the Exuberant Animal presentations and stay true to the core ideas. Look for an 80/20 ratio in which 80% is solid Exuberant Animalisms, while the remaining 20% is your own stories or improv.
- Start with a predicament, a problem, a gap, a puzzle or a failure that we can learn from, then circle back to a resolution.
- Pull the audience with enthusiasm and story; don’t push with “shoulds.”
- Speak with curiosity: “Look at this” not “look at me”
- Point towards wonder and imagination
- Make it multi-plane, multi-dimensional. Don’t get stuck on one level of abstraction.
- Practice! Memorize key points, then practice more. Over-prepare to be ready for inevitable surprises.
See also Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen.
1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick
2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before
3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion
4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story
5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy
6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
7. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desparate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee