What I Do Before Giving a Talk.
Starting about 48 hours in advance, I watch standup comedians on YouTube. Not for their humor. But because they are actually the best public speakers. They know how to evoke a response from the audience. They study their material over and over. They use their voice, they act out scenes, they use the entire stage, their body movements are planned.
So watching them on YouTube triggers my mirror neurons a bit so that I can act like them. It helps that I also have done standup for six years or so.
I once had a friend who stuttered. Except when he sang. No stuttering when he was singing. It triggers a different part of the brain apparently.
Since I want my brain firing all over I try to sing (by myself) before I give a talk. For some reason, I sing the theme song to the 70s TV show, "Chico and the Man".
3. ABS - Always Be Storytelling.
Always be storytelling. For point I want to make, I always have a story. Humans listen to stories, they don't listen to lists of facts.
4. No Slides
I don’t use slides. A brain is not meant to multi-task. They are either looking at you, or the slide. Not both.
I want people to listen to my talk.Not watch a bunch of slides. This isn’t always possible depending on the talk but I now try to prepare my talks so no slides are ever necessary.
People will remember me and not a slide.
5. USE THE WHOLE STAGE
You ever notice that Chris Rock prowls around the stage like a tiger? His reasoning: he doesn't want people to blink. Else they will not know where he is.
When giving a talk you need to try and get people's senses going as much as possible. Walk around the entire stage.
6. SOMETIMES I GIVE THE AUDIENCE A CHOICE
I've done this in both standup and in public talks. I say, "I can talk about....business or about crypto."
I know the audience is going to say, "CRYPTO!" But they feel as if they are part of it if they choose. They are more likely to like the talk then.
7. The 10 MInute RUle
People get bored in ten minutes. You have to change the subject, or get audience participation, or do a joke, or do something drastic, every ten minutes to keep people interested.
I do prepare several jokes to start off the talk. And I also have jokes prepared for the middle of the talk.
Adults are not used to laughing. A child, on average, laughs 300 times a day. An adult…five. Get people to laugh and they will remember.
9. PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE ... BUT DON'T SCRIPT
I usually have a long list of stories and points I want to say. I don't say all of them. And I don't always say them in order. But I'll see where the talk is going and how people are responding and use my stories accordingly. I don't script because I don't want to be worried abourt forgetting something and I don't want to seem too rehearsed.
10. SPEAK TO ONE PERSON
Remember that each audience member wants to see themselves in your talk. The talk is about THEM. Make the audience member the hero in your story.