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I have heard it said way too many times that speaking in public is a person’s number one fear! Poppycock! Well, until it is your turn to speak.
When it comes to speaking in public what are you feeling?
Too often I meet people who have been told, don’t take your notes to the stage. Seriously? Maybe if you are a professional like me, and get paid $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 for a keynote speech you won’t take your notes. But for everyone else, TAKE YOUR NOTES! Put them in your hand, when you are done with a page, make it a part of your talk to simply toss that page down, litter the stage with your notes! A performance style!
Now, DO NOT read your speech either. Notice I said, NOTES! Not speech. But we are not giving speeches. We are talking with our audience. We are having a conversation.
Have you ever met someone who bored you? Why were they boring?
Because they talked about themselves. They probably droned on and on about themselves, their job, their employer, their kids… OMG! Boring! So when you have to do a talk in front of a group, make it a conversation. Share stories but make them stories that your audience can relate to.
I give public speaking lessons, I taught speech at the college level for seven years and you know what I learned and then taught? We are all frightened of being in front of the group but we are almost never frightened of talking to someone.
What’s the difference? Interaction. When talking one-to-one we interact (well, most of us do). We share stories and laugh and enjoy. Put us in front of an audience and suddenly we think we have to GIVE A SPEECH. And that’s the furthest thing from the truth I have ever heard. We still need to have a conversation. We need to involve our listeners. We need to move them with our experiences, our memories, our stories.
How do we do that? That’s what I teach you to do. It’s not easy because most of us are so used to talking about ourselves. Even in one to one conversations. We talk about our kids, then we let them talk about their kids. We tell our kid stories then we listen to their kid stories. Interaction.
In front of a group, the only difference is, now we are responsible for bringing them into their stories through our stories. It’s not, I stood there smelling the bright yellow flower and watching the golden-hued butterfly flutter with the breeze… but it’s involving them, have you ever found the most beautiful yellow flower and smelled it? And what’s interesting is that where there are those flowers, quite often there are butterflies. What color was the most beautiful butterfly you have ever seen? Yellow? Gold? A mixture of teal, brown and bright yellow?
You see, when you are sharing stories with your audience, you are simply having a conversation with them about things they have in common with you even when you have almost nothing in common.
Comedians are funny not because they tell the best jokes. Most comedians tell no jokes. They share stories about things that we can relate to and we laugh with them about similar stories, feelings, memories.
The next time you have to give a talk, stand in front of a group, in front of a huge audience, remember, that we all want to hear our stories, told through your stories.
I am Steve Sapato, the most famous unfamous speaker in America and I teach you how to be comfortable in front of any group.