I believe it was Mary Kay who said that everyone has an invisible sign around their neck that reads “Make me feel Special”.
Everyone wants to feel important. There is a reason that Dale Carnegie says that your name is the most important word in any language to you. Most speakers believe that they are special, and that the audience is simply there to soak in what they have to say. As speakers, we are not gurus. We simply borrow advice from the Universe, our mentors, and those that have gone before us, and we share it. Let's work on making our audiences the stars of our talks, not ourselves.
How do you make each audience that you speak to feel special? One word: Customization.
Use any of the following 5 methods when you speak to customize your talk for each audience that you share it with. Keep in mind that these can be small adjustments that you make to an already existing talk. Make these small additions to your speech, and your audience will truly feel unique and special.
Do you have a system to start your speech?
Many speakers start with the trivialities and thank you's. There is nothing wrong with saying thanks to the people that brought you in to speak. However, there are too many “Worn-out Welcome's” that speakers use that have been heard before.
Here is what happens when you start your speech the way that everyone else does: Your audience thinks “Okay, I have a few minutes before the speaker really starts their speech...let me (check my phone, run to the bathroom, whisper to my neighbor etc) for a few minutes.”
This happens all too often. Here's the good news – if you see something often, and you choose to do something differently, you will immediately stand out. And be remembered...
Here are 3 steps to note to start your speeches so that you will be unique, and memorable.
“I'll be back!”
“Consider that a divorce!”
“Hasta la Vista, baby!”
Recognize these lines? These are from Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies, “The Terminator”, “Total Recall” and “Terminator 2” respectively.
Schwarzenegger is so known for these funny (some may say cheesy) lines in many of his movies, that you can find numerous sites with his “Top 10 One-Liners” with a simple Google search.
I recently read his biography, “Total Recall”, and though it was a long read, it was very interesting.
You've probably seen it... the Speaker that talks about themselves...to the DISMAY of their audience. The one thing that many speakers still haven't figured out, is that you can talk about your accomplishments, without seeming arrogant or conceited...
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.