360° Coverage : What Do You Do Before Your Speech?

2 Updates
What Do You Do Before Your Speech?
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

What Do You Do Before Your Speech?

Apr 3 2014, 12:52pm CDT | by

What do you do in those long minutes just before your speech?  There’s lots to worry about, and you’re probably worrying about some, or all, of it:  your nerves, your slides, your audience, your...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

What Do You Do Before Your Speech?

Apr 3 2014, 12:52pm CDT | by

What do you do in those long minutes just before your speech?  There’s lots to worry about, and you’re probably worrying about some, or all, of it:  your nerves, your slides, your audience, your technology, the stage, the lighting, the introduction, the plane ticket home, and getting to the airport on time, the timing of everything — the potential list goes on and on.  One thing you should be thinking about is most likely not on your mind:  your offstage beat.

I’ll get to the offstage beat in a minute.  But first I was chatting with an experienced street artist recently, and he immediately put it in his terms:  ”Of course; you’ve got to focus on crowd gathering.”  In other words, before you can put on a show in the street, you have to gather a crowd

But why should passers-by stop and pay attention to street artists before a show goes on?  Because the show has already started.  And that was my friend’s point:  you’re already performing.  You have to be, to pull in that crowd.  You have to figure out how to plant the seeds of a great story even while setting up, or greeting the people walking by, or sizing up potential troublemakers in the crowd.

I love that phrase:  crowd gathering.  It’s one of the three essential things you should be focusing on in those minutes before your speech — instead of worrying about nerves, slides, technology, and so on.  Crowd gathering, the offstage beat, and one other:  your purpose.  Let’s look at each in turn.

Crowd Gathering.  As my street performer friend says, the performance starts the instant you want people to stop, watch and listen.  For the public speaker, that means thinking about your interaction with the audience before your speech begins.  Do you greet them?  Work the room?  If you’re going to sit in the green room and avoid the audience, how are they going to be prepared for you — how are they going to get jazzed?  Don’t rely on the introduction, because that’s so often badly done — or not done at all.

I recently gave a speech to a large audience of salespeople, and had provided an introduction to the staff beforehand.  Imagine my surprise when the head of the group simply said, “Please welcome Nick Morgan,” without any indication of who I was.  As a result, I had to work much hard to establish any sort of credibility with the audience, who had no particular reason to listen to me beyond the simple fact of my presence.  Despite my efforts, then, that crowd gathering piece did not happen, and I started out with a setback.

I learned from that to be prepared to deal with an ungracious or forgetful host by introducing myself if necessary.  Not the best way to start, but it has to be done.

The Offstage Beat.  I’ve posted on this idea before.  It comes from the acting world.  Great actors know that a real person doesn’t just walk into your field of view from nowhere.  They always come from somewhere — the dentist, an IRS audit, the cafe across the street.  Each of those entry points gives them a different set of attitudes and emotions.  That makes them interesting, and gives them depth as people. So actors do the same with their characters — they figure out where that character has just come from before the first scene on stage.  That gives the character depth and complexity as they walk on stage.

Speakers need to do the same — get that first emotion or attitude toward your material — before you walk onstage.  While you’re being introduced — and I hope you are — think about how you feel about your opening ideas, story, or stats.  If you walk on with that attitude, feeling it strongly, you will be far more interesting to the audience than if you’re coming on stage just looking for the podium.

Your Purpose.  Finally, you should spend those agonizing minutes just before a speech thinking about your purpose — why are you there, what are you hoping to achieve with that particular audience?  Who are they, what do they need, and how can your expertise and experience provide it?  A speech is a wonderful opportunity.  Especially in those first few opening minutes as you begin your talk, your audience is gathered, open, and ready to learn, to grown, to be inspired.  What a privilege, to have the chance to hold forth about your passion to them!  That is your moment.  Know why you’re there.  Take full advantage of it.  Don’t squander it.

10 Tips For Giving A Great Speech

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new compa ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Number of Ebola cases crosses 10,000: WHO
Geneva, Oct 25 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed Saturday that the number of Ebola cases has risen to more than 10,000 in the eight affected countries, two of which, Nigeria and Senegal, had recently been declared free of the virus.
 
 
India-born Sundar Pichai is Google's new product chief
Washington, Oct 25 (IANS) In a major restructuring of Google management, India-born Sundar Pichai, who is already in-charge of Android, Chrome and Google Apps, has been made the chief of core Google products, according to a technology magazine.
 
 
Mali: Country with 300 Indians records first Ebola death
Accra (Ghana), Oct 25 (IANS) The authorities in the West African nation of Mali, where the Indian embassy says there are between 200 and 300 of its nationals, have confirmed the death of the country's first Ebola patient, a two-year-old girl.
 
 
Ebola cases exceed 10,000: WHO
London, Oct 25 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO), in its latest report Saturday said the number of Ebola virus cases has exceeded 10,000, with 4,922 deaths.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla