By Stephanie Bickel
We want to inspire listeners to think of new thoughts and take new actions.
The audience and message structure are very important, but what about your style? Fine-point adjustments to your style can make a world of difference as a speaker.
Speakers can help their ideas stand out by the way they present them. Show how much you care. Convey your feelings. Select the feelings you want them to mirror and put them on.
Review your message and add these things.
1. Be thoughtful about your visuals. Minimize the number of words and reduce the number of slides. Add a prop. What can you show that will get a laugh or surprise them? Dress in a way that reinforces your theme or brand.
2. Stylize your posture to highlight the emotions you want them to feel.
3. Play with vocal pace, intensity, and volume. When can you slow down and speed up? When can you get loud or quiet? When can you over-enunciate?
4. Plan a 5-second pause. Count to 5 in silence after a powerful statement or question.
You only need to do this once.
5. Plan audience interaction. When can they talk? Aim to do this toward the beginning.
6. Find a place to repeat the same phrase or word twice for emphasis.
7. For a transition, ask a rhetorical question in a funny voice or unexpectedly high voice.
8. Add a crescendo ending. Make your voice loud in the last sentence.
9. Plan your movement. Add a grand gesture for your key point. Choose a time to lean in or get closer to them.
10. Make your sentences punchy. Remove your unnecessary “ly” words. No filler words.
Avoid weak language.
This all works for virtual and in-person meetings and presentations. See if you can add at least five of these. Senior leader communication is more powerful when we use our style. Your listeners want to see you inspired. The way you speak is a key element to inspirational leadership.
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