8 Things I Do to Make My Speech Compelling - written by Roy Osing
My stories seem to be compelling to audiences.
How do I know?
Because I can see it in their eyes. Their pupils widen with excitement. They smile. They even laugh out loud on occasion.
They never take their eyes off me.
They hang on every word.
They are on the edge of their seats leaning in to what I am telling them. My words draw them out of whatever place they were in before my story began.
They rush up to me after I finish to engage with me in some aspect of my story.
They follow up with emails and text messages. They never want my story to end.
And, they tell their friends about what they’ve experienced with me.
How does this happen?
First, it’s no accident. My intention is always to tell my story in such a way to excite people and leave them wanting more.
I have a strategy for it. And I play it out at each storytelling occasion.
Here’s how I do it:
1. I talk to myself before every storytelling event. I say “energy up” out loud before going on stage to begin my story. This is my way to refresh myself with the energy needed to “infect” the audience.
2. I look into their eyes and hold them with my stare.
3. I always pick someone out who is returning my energy and I play off them to hold mine.
4. My story is different from what they’ve heard before , not the same-old same-old they have heard by dozens of storytellers before me.
5. I am very passionate about my topic; it is infectious.
6. I mix the cadence of my story up; anything to avoid a monotonous rhythm.
7. And I mix the volume up as well. I rarely need a microphone in some parts of my story and I force my audience to listen hard to the softer parts.
8. I know my stuff. No, I mean REALLY know it so it oozes from my veins as a natural expression of who I am. And people get it that way. I treat my story not as an intellectual exercise but as an emotional experience. Not knowing your story can really mess up your flow and detract from the aura of it all.
If your story “takes their breath away” you know you’ve done your job. Funny, I seem to be the only one speaking that way.
Roy is a former executive vice-president and CMO with over 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead. His book BE DiFFERENT YOU! tells his personal career story.