Nick Morgan keeps giving away solid advice about public speaking. If you speak in public ever, you really should be following his blog. (And his book, Give Your Speech, Change The World, has been required reading for my team.)
Today he posted an excellent list of twelve public speaking rules.
Rules three and four on his list particularly resonate with me:
3. By the end of the hour, you should be talking love. You get attention by identifying a problem and playing it up. Look at the current American presidential candidates; you’d be pardoned for thinking that Armageddon was around the corner if you took them seriously. But by the end of the talk, you should be covering what it is that you love and what’s working in your world. Long-term careers are based on positive trajectories, not negative ones.
4. You put your ideas out there; you can’t control what the audience does with them. It’s your job to present your case with passion. The audience has its own issues, and you have no control over the extent to which they take up your ideas or not. Success is making your case, not in getting the most votes – or even a standing ovation.
Indeed, “you should be talking love” as you make your call to action. What’s the point of standing in front of an audience if not to give them something you care about that can send them away transformed for the better?
It’s called “giving” a speech, right? Have a gift to offer. Talk about something you truly care about, that you love, and leave your audience with that gift, whether it’s awakening them to new possibilities or calling them to action in a worthwhile pursuit.
And Morgan’s fourth rule can be magical for not just your speaking events, but for all that you do.
Don’t be attached to the outcome. Focus on what you can control—your effort, your energy, your emotion, your authentic in-the-moment presence. The intrinsic rewards should take precedence over the extrinsic ones.
Give your speech with as much craftsmanship and energy as you can. Offer your gift. Then let it go.
Every audience is unique. Some may not give you the feedback you hope for or the smiling, engaged expressions that let you know they’re with you.
I’ve had audiences that seemed to just stare blankly at me only to find out later that several found the experience to be transformational.
Regardless, do your best. Give the audience all you have. If you don’t feel a bit drained when you finish, you probably didn’t summon enough energy or uncork enough emotion.
When in doubt, especially when facing an audience that’s not showing you the love, ramp up the awesome rather than scaling it back in self-defense.
Put out more energy, connect more intently, and be bigger on stage than seems reasonable to you.
Spread your love. Give your gift. And be content with that.