How to deliver a public speech 101

Most advice of this sort would start with “how you speak is what matters because most of information is transmitted through sub-communication”. This is only partially true. Your content should be in the center of your attention. It is essential.

“Great idea delivered poorly is on the slowest track to conquer the world. Great delivery of poor idea is the fastest way to disaster.”
— Przemek Kucia

That being said, it would be nice to see our idea to spread before we die. Let’s cut the point – underneath there are my go to basics to evaluate and master.

BREATHING AND POSTURE

The biggest two of them all. Everything is built from those. Most people suffer from anxiety before giving a speech. It is natural to feel that way when our brains imagine horrible consequences of social evaluation. In short, bad assessment by community (evolutionary speaking) implies fast-track to death. Brain figures out that it is life threatening situation, stimulates you with cortisol. You hunch stressed out which further elevates your cortisol levels and lowers testosterone. All this ultimately means that you will present the idea from very unattractive (again, evolutionary speaking) position. Odds are your stress levels will tighten your muscles and adrenaline will lead your brain to shut down not essential processes of brain. You will be stuck.

Fortunately, stress level can be lowered. Steady breathing pattern will remove the tension from your chest. You will use some of electrical charge to stimulate stable and deep breath. Some sources say to breathe through “your belly” to stimulate diaphragm. I used this technique for quite some time, but people who are told to breathe through diaphragm focus only on that part. It is important to use all chest muscles in rhythmic cycles.

Maintaining open and erect posture is proven to change hormone levels. It lowers cortisol and elevate testosterone. These two are essential to feel calm and confident. Delivering a speech from calm and confident position of power is a great start.

TIMING AND GESTURES

In fancy language – chronemics and kinesics. Usage of time is affected by content of your speech. Remember that and take into account at least few fact about time.

·         People learn best in 20 minutes chunks

·         Think of specific places to hold a pause

·         If you’re involved in competition try to go second if evaluation comes just after speeches

When you’re actually speaking good rule of thumb for visual thinkers would be to slow down 1/3 or even a half. Slower is in eight out of ten cases better than faster.

Gestures are tricky to describe with words. People who speak from their experience tend to use more illustrators. Like how huge thing it was, what was the shape, consistency etc.. Speeches that are delivered from paper tend to lack any gestures. The first is better. Illustrators integrate your story as an experience. They are suggesting to the audience that you know what you say.

VOICE

There is nothing as important as voice. This means that to deliver in kick-ass way you need to take control over your intonation and timbre. Most common mistakes are: flat delivery, intonation that suggest every sentence is a question, building voice from throat rather than lungs and diaphragm, not smiling which affect how you sound.

– Przemek Kucia

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AMY CUDDY ON POWER POSING

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