Speaking in front of crowds doesn’t come naturally for many people. For most it’s something you’re forced to do at the behest of your employer, whether as part of a company meeting, client presentation or stupid team building exercise out in the woods. Others are thrust into the spotlight at a wedding reception or cocktail party. Whatever the situation, it’s tough on the majority of those who have to do it.
I’m one of the exceptions.
Now, I don’t consider myself a great public speaker. I am however probably a better public speaker than you. Below are a few tricks you can use the next time you find yourself in front of a room full of people.
1. Relax Beforehand
Nothing makes a bigger negative impact on your confidence and more importantly your voice than nerves. The best way to relieve some of that stress is to wash it down with a few slugs of bourbon in the washroom before you get up in front of everybody to really take the edge off.
2. Go Commando
The old adage of “picture everybody in the room naked” is patently incorrect. Instead, turn this on its head and ditch your own drawers. The extra breeze and the feeling of your pantleg/dress against your bare skin will be the additional sensation that’ll be just the trick to calm your worries. Shhh, don’t worry; it’ll be our little secret. In fact, lose the pants too. What’s the difference?
3. Break the Ice
I don’t mean start with a joke. The majority of you aren’t funny and forcing it will be even more painful. I mean literally smash a glass full of ice cubes on the ground so it shatters and startles everybody in attendance. That’ll get their attention.
4. Don’t Forget Buzzwords
A handful of words I like to mix in to really make my listener’s eyes light up include “leukemia,” “chiggers,” and “restraining order.” But make these words personal to you and your own story!
5. Eye Contact
Avoid roaming from face to face looking like a lost little lamb up there. Instead, make unblinking intense eye contact with one person for the entirety of the speech. By the end of it, the whole crowd will be on your side because they’ll think that person slept with your significant other while you were battling leukemia.
See what I did there with the leukemia line? That’s what we in the comedy biz call a callback. It references something said earlier in a connective and surprisingly humorous way. It’s used because groups of people are dumb and need to be beaten over the head with reminders of how much more clever and smart than them you are.
7. Beat Them Over the Head With It
Emphasize your points with a resounding wooden crack of a baseball bat or 2×4 against each person’s skull. Remember you want to make a lasting impact on them with your speech and this is the best way to ensure their last memory of anything is your voice.
8. Leave on a High Note
By this time, you will have made quite the impact on the room and you’ll be able to tell by how still they are that it was a lasting one. Make sure you cut your soliloquy a tad short in order to beat it to the exit. You wouldn’t want to do anything else to fall out of their good graces, would you?
9. Take Your Voice International
It’s time you expanded your public speaking business to other countries. A few I’d focus on first would be Cuba, Armenia, the Marshall Islands and Russia. That way you can pop in for a seminar and leave at a moment’s notice without anybody from back home asking you to come home. .
This week on Don’t Take It From Us, Jenna Crowley, and I had special guest Crick Watson MD on to talk about something I know nothing about, The Bachelorette! Crick also told a great story about going on a Bumble date with a reader of the website, we graded more dating profiles and of course went down in the DMs. New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or on iTunes!