Audience satisfaction used to be a good thing. A good rating used to be enough but with the current “wow factor” of TED Talks, these days “good” is another name for “meh”/okay/mediocre/bare minimum. The stakes continue to rise with every amazing speaker upping the ante. What your audience is truly looking for is a superhero — specifically for you to be their superhero. To save them from evils they weren’t even aware of and give them the tools they didn’t even know they needed.
Why is this superhero thing so prevalent in our culture today? Our culture is absolutely fascinated with superheroes. There are dozens of superhero movies slated to hit the big screen over the next several years. Just like everyone roots for the superhero in comics and movies, in life we like to root for people who are problem solvers, tackle injustice, and defy evil. Here’s Ginger’s take on how to become the Public Speaking Superhero you were always meant to be!
1. What is the ‘evil’ your audience needs to be saved from?
Think about your audience. What is one idea or concept that your audience needs to know? What do they need to be saved from? Think about things that would capture your audience’s attention, a selling point or something broader that would make them aware of the issue and how YOU can save them with the power of information!
There is a distinct difference between the boring clichés, things we’ve heard in speeches over and over again, and the fresh stuff you want to get to your audience. What can you give them that they can explain simply to another person. Here’s your challenge! Answer the following:
- What is ONE thing about my speech that others will want to pass on?
- What is it about my topic that is different or not seen before?
- What is it about my speech that is SUPER useful to people?
2. How does your super power help defeat this ‘evil’?
The most powerful speakers have a strong belief that their public speaking will bring benefit to the audience. If you believe firmly in your message, you will have no problem speaking with confidence; because that message is more important than your nerves.
For example, one speaker I know talks more about his business approach than selling his product. He shares about the importance of having a “human approach”, namely NOT to leave your life issues or problems at home but bring them to the workplace to fuel creativity. He uses that to promote his organization rather than selling, making more people want to hear his compelling idea that is worth sharing. His super power is simply BEING HUMAN in business.
It’s all about EMPATHY!
- Identifying what your audience wants and needs.
- Realizing that your audience has needs that they don’t even comprehend.
- Learning what your audience wants from your topic and what they want from you.
- If you speak in a way that is honest, public speaking can make you the ‘people’s champion’ in your organisation. Connect with your personal stories, share who you are and you’ll be amazed at how your audience will connect with you.
- Read more about empathy: Part 1, Part 2, AND Part 3. (yes… it’s THAT important.)
Rather than ‘getting through’ your material, irrespective of who’s in the audience, the public speaking superhero will ask themselves what the audience most needs to hear in a given moment. The more experience you have of different audiences and the more experimental you allow yourself to be – the more your speaking will ‘save’ your audience.
3. What’s your Superhero Public Speaking Persona?
Just like Superman has “Faster than an airplane, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” or Spider-Man’s “Just your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man”, think about your motto. What YOU do to provide a super experience for your audience.
A Superhero Persona is an opportunity to create You 2.0 – the you you’ve always wanted to express, but haven’t felt confident enough to show. Think of it as when Clark Kent changes into Superman. When you’re fully able to let Your “Super” out, you will develop charisma naturally and your audience will benefit no end. So here’s how to start designing your Superhero Persona:
- Write down how you behave when you’re at your finest. It might be when you’re at your most successful, when you’re completely comfortable with your loved ones, or when you feel most alive.
- Brainstorm the qualities you admire about other great Superheros. You might have Superman’s epic presence, Wonder Woman’s femininity and Batman’s sense of certainty. Whatever appeals to you.
- Combine the most important parts of 1&2. Now imagine how a Hero like this would be. How would he or she move? Speak? Dress? Laugh? What kind of experience would the audience receive?
This is the start of your Superhero Persona. Keep working on it to find how you really want to behave when you speak. Next, start to bring this character into your performances. Develop charisma when you need it by visualing yourself as this Superhero before you go on stage. As you visualise yourself taking on your new stage persona, ask:
- How does your persona walk onto stage?
- What does he / she wear?
- What are some of the words s/he says?
- How does s/he speak to the audience? How does s/he inspire them?
Finally find a ‘trigger’ that reminds you of the feeling that the persona evokes. This could be a piece of jewellery, an item of clothing, or a sticky note saying “I’m BATMAN!” you put on your notes whilst you’re speaking. Anytime you notice the trigger, remind yourself to step back into the persona.
Soon this Superhero Persona will help you develop your public speaking power and tap into it on demand!
More information on how to be the Public Speaking Superhero you were meant to be?
If you’re eager to become a more inspiring speaker, Ginger has a multitude of courses just right for you! From freebies to e-courses, books to workshops, jump in to Ginger. Click here for a full list of Ginger courses and resources.