I spoke at Podcast Movement 22, and then I had a stomach cramp...
For the past week, I went to Dallas, Texas for Podcast Movement 2022! It was my first ever speaking opportunity after 3 years of lockdown! I was nervous, because, there are a couple of people that were speaking on the same exact topics as mine, Dallas was brutally hot, it felt like I am living at the edge of Mordor, and I never knew if anyone would get anything valuable out of my talk!
Apparently, it went quite well! I was surprised how many people came up to me and said they love my talk, my energy, and how engaging it was!
Here are a couple of techniques that I used for the talk by studying @JamesAltucher talk, and how James talk about borrowing Stand Up Comedy skills to public speaking!
I learned from the master!
- I have the host (who also happens to be the sponsor of the event) make fun of my name.
- Made fun of the sponsors' products, while at the same time promoting them.
- Pay attention to the audience, if someone nods and agrees with my point, I quickly point to them and did a small interaction with them. I also realize then, that this made a lot more people engage with me while I am on stage as my talks goes on.
1. Get familiarize with your venue!
I actually learned this from my music days!
A day before my session, I went to the room and look at all the exits, how big is the stage, where was the projector located, where will I be able to look at my slides, how was the chair arranged, and where were the crew located, the soundboard, where does the audience typically like to sit (by watching others talk in the same room), and come up with a strategy of how get the audience sitting closer together.
Like the saying, laughter is contagious.
Sometimes, the audience is also looking for permission to laugh, so if you get them closer together, the chances of you hitting a laugh are higher!
My talk is about Podcast Tech Production, and Tech Producer, so I mentioned, as podcasters, and tech people, we love to have the sweet spot, and I encouraged them to sit closer to the middle so they:
1: Get a better view of my slides,
and 2: They can hear me better.
2. Practice with props, and visualize the audience's reaction
My talk was on Friday, so from Monday to Thursday, every night, I would run my slides over and over again, giving my 100% while practicing, cause I know when I get on that stage, I will only be able to do 80% due to anxiety, and unforeseen circumstances.
I wanted my 80% to be a solid 100%, so I rehearse and visualize like I am on the stage every night! Including holding a microphone, wearing the jackets, watches, and my name tag while recording. In the performance world, we call that a Dress Rehearsal.
3. Watch physical Stand Up Comedy or Comedy video!
30 minutes before the talk, I look for Stand Up Comedy videos and watch them. Some of the stand-up comedians including Trey Kennedy and Trevor Wallace:
That allows me to mimic the energy and try to be as entertaining as possible!
4. Moving around the stage!
I have heard James talk about this a lot, it's either Dave Chappelle or Chris Rock constantly moving while doing their set. This forces the audience to pay attention to you, and try to anticipate your next move!
It also helps to know how big was the stage before you get on. Because I knew how big was the stage, so I am able to plan and plot out how I would move around on the stage, and how far I can go before losing the audience.
5. and crowd work, and then point out the obvious!
I have seen James do this before, and some other speakers did this before. Basically, I make fun of the room, the sponsors, the host, or the audience. This helped build a relationship between me and the audience right there, right then.
What I did was, I planned it with the host, which happens to be the sponsor as well.
A couple of things that I did there were,
6. Your mistakes!
Most people that attended my talk are new to the industry or trying to learn new knowledge, sharing your mistakes that you have done in the past makes you relatable!
I started my talk about how I used expensive microphones for podcasting, and eventually realized it was a bad idea, and how I learn from it, and be better!
When I mentioned those mistakes, I saw some people in the audience's eyes lid up, and kept nodding to my points! Another great way to engage with the audience!
7. Every Slide tell a story!
This is one of the pieces of advice that James gave right before I get on the stage. He said, make sure you have at least one story for each slide. I prepared two stories, just in case I got nervous, I get to tell at least one story!
This help keep the talk entertaining!
8. Have a theme!
I discovered this by listening to James and Evan Puschak's (The Nerdwriter) episode on The James Altucher Show.
They were talking about this great comedian who has a throw-away joke that he kept bringing back for his whole set, and people eventually laugh at it every time he mentioned it.
So I experimented with it, I had Read The Freaking Manual Joke, and I will come back to it every two slides. I can see that every time I mentioned that joke, everyone burst out laughing!
9. I am BIG!
I borrow this from my theater days back in high school, where we were trained to exaggerate our expressions, and actions while we are on stage!
Remember, people are sitting far away from the stage, and if you don't exaggerate every expression or action of yours, they might miss something!
I try out different things on stage for the first 5 minutes of my talk, and see what sticks, and what gets the most laughter, once I found it, I stick with it!
Every venue and every crowd are different. To get laughter, you need to try different things all the time!
This is what I learnt, and I might do more soon!