It seems the fundamental advice about how to give a good speech is pretty obvious by now. How often can you repeat the basics of effective public speaking?
But I saw two articles recently that had fresh takes worth reading, both inspired by the TED Talk experience.
5 Secrets of a Successful TED Talk highlights solid evidence that how you say what you say trumps even the most meaningful content in its impact on an audience. In a survey of viewers watching TED Talks with the sound turned off, those talks that had the most animated, confident looking speakers rated the highest. And that actually correlated with the popularity of those talks when the sound was on as well.
Smile, use your hands, turn your physical energy up, don’t come across as scripted, and you will have the best chance of connecting with your audience. And it starts immediately. The audience is making a judgment about you and your message in just the first few seconds.
And this article, A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage, is filled with thoughtful tips about the mental and physical approach the most successful speakers adopt.
Here’s tip #3 from the list:
Use your body’s nervous energy for good. Don’t try to contain all your nervous energy. Let it move through you and energize you for your talk. Do isometrics while you waiting backstage if it helps. Shake your hands out. Barnett remembers one TED speaker who found a private corner backstage to put on headphones and dance — and that speaker walked onstage feeling like a rockstar. And, if nothing else, always remember TED star Amy Cuddy and how to power pose.
I remain convinced that anyone can have charisma in front of an audience. Care about something enough to have the courage to fully express just how much you do care, and you will be charismatic.