Speaking in public is supposedly people’s greatest fear (alongside death). Yet if you are someone who wants to have influence, leave your mark or impact others then becoming a great public speaker is a key way you can do this. Just think you have 10, 20 or 100 people’s attention. In no other situation will you get that. It is a great opportunity. Yet many people blow it. Delivering bland, boring, powerpoint dominated presentations. Resulting in boredom, zero impact and even negative influence!
Apple spend relatively little on marketing. Yet Steve Jobs’ launch presentations of new products were legendary and gained Apple all the publicity they needed. Just think – they saved millions (maybe billions) just because they had a brilliant presentation from a brilliant presenter. What would be your rewards of becoming a great presenter? Career advancement? More influence? Changed lives?
Thankfully delivering the presentation people long for but rarely get is not that difficult. It can be learnt. All the tips and techniques that the great speakers use are freely available for anyone to use.
Let me give you just one. One tip that if you used this for your next presentation your confidence would rise, your audience would stay awake and weeks later they’d not only remember your presentation but still be talking about it!
The tip is simply this:
Design a STAR moment (Something They Always Remember).
Deliberately create a moment in every presentation that people will not forget.
Steve Jobs would always do this. One time he produced the new product (a Mac Laptop) from a normal brown A4 envelope to show how thin it was. Or what about Bill Gates releasing mosquitos during a talk on Malaria at TED? Talk about something they would remember!
During a recent Sunday message I played excerpts from 2 pieces of music (Swan Lake and Rite of Spring by Stravinsky) to illustrate a metaphor that lasted the whole message. A week later someone brought it up in conversation with me. That’s what happens when you have a STAR moment, rather than forgetting your message people, 7 days later people remember it and remind you of it!
A STAR moment should be:
(what are people expecting? what’s the norm for the presentations you are part of? do something different!)
(something for people to look at – bullets points on a screen don’t count!)
*involve the emotions
(this heightens memory and focuses attention)
*be relevant to your message (do not use it as a gimmick that doesn’t advance your cause)
Here’s some ideas for designing a STAR moment:
*use an object – the bigger and more usual the better (even better have it fully in view before you need people will be alert waiting for you to reference it)
*involve the audience (can you get them to do something? stand/raise hands or a few volunteers to represent your idea?)
*tell a powerful story (& learn to tell it well)
*do something shocking or unusual (I remember a message on waste when the speaker started by emptying 10 black bigs of rubbish onto the stage!)
Warning don’t overdo your STAR moments. Only have 1 per message.
Now imagine standing up to speak knowing you have a STAR moment up your sleeve. You will rise to speak oozing confidence, knowing that if all else fails you will have this 1 moment they will pay attention to. 1 moment they will remember and maybe, just maybe, 1 moment that will change their life.
And isn’t that what all great presenters want?
So what STAR could you use for your next public presentation?