Speech-making is like feeding your audience processed cheese

Written on June 9, 2011 by Steve Lowell

I’m really excited to introduce you to this week’s guest blogger Steve Lowell.

Steve is a master speaker and trainer who specializes in helping authors and aspiring authors become powerful public speakers in order to promote and monetize their work.  He’s an invaluable resource for all of you authors who are wonderful with pen and paper but not so good with a microphone.  

Read on for his tips on how to deliver a great talk. ~ Sandy @ Hasmark 

It was a small audience of maybe 20 people when one of our speakers took the stage to share her profound lessons with us. She began her ten-minute presentation with authority and confidence as she offered us some tidbits of wisdom and facts, but I really don’t remember what she said. 

I do remember how I felt after her speech was finished and I asked her about her experience. She began just speaking with us “off the record”. 

She broke out of the structured “speech” and began sharing from her heart with us her experience when the doctor came out and told her that her child was gravely ill and would most likely never be able to take care of herself. 

This amazing lady has a critical story to tell; a story that could change lives, but during her “speech” the story was contained and protected by structure and the rules of speech-making that she had been taught. 
She was delivering the information with all the skill of a well prepared speech-maker, but somehow she was just not creating the impact she undoubtedly intended. Sure, at times in her speech there were flickers of emotional delivery, but even they were manufactured for the purposes of “the speech”. 

How do I know that? Because when her speech was done and I asked her questions, we were all able to see her for who she really was. That’s when the authentic emotion came out and that’s the part I remember most. I would bet that the same holds true for anyone else who was in that audience. 

As soon as our speaker began speaking with us instead of at us, a whole new dimension opened up for her. Everyone knew she was a competent speech-maker, but now we could all see that she could also be a magnificent speaker with a profound life-lesson to share. 

Here’s the point… When they speak, many authors get so caught up in making a perfect speech that they miss the point of speaking; to make your audience feel about your subject they way you feel about your subject. 
It’s kind of like eating processed cheese versus real cheese! Anyone who eats cheese can tell the difference in a split second. So it is with your audience! 

They can tell from your first words if you are feeding them real cheese (speaking with them) or processed cheese (speaking at them). 

The bottom line is this; when you’re on the stage, just be yourself. Let the real you shine through without all the manufactured swagger or spirited enthusiasm…speak with your audience, instead of at them, and they will love you for it! 

Steve Lowell is the author of “From Stage Fright to Spotlight” He is also the founder and coach of “From the Page to The Stage”;  Two days of high impact coaching turning authors into high impact speakers” www.stevelowell.com

Written by Steve Lowell

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