At the Village Global Founder Retreat 2019 this summer, we brought together 75+ of our founders for a couple days of networking, content sessions, and relaxation.
I moderated a session on oral communication and public speaking. Below are my rough notes/talking points for my facilitation.
Three premises from me:
- It’s an incredibly high leverage skill to develop. As CEOs, we are storytellers-in-chief. We’re always telling stories. Being good at it means adapting our storytelling depending on who’s around, who’s in the audience.
- Need to actually practice and develop this skill. It doesn’t come naturally.
- Storytelling per se is one element of effective oral communication. There are other elements to the broader skill set of oral communication.
A few principles for being better at oral communication, be it in a meeting with a few people and large presentation, much of it inspired from Own the Room.
- Eliminate weak language. RECORD YOURSELF on video and audio and you’ll hear weak language (ums and ah’s).
- Paint a picture and evoke an emotion. Set a scene. A scenario. “Imagine…” as an opener…
- Involve the audience with the content. Poll the audience. Body polls. Thumbs up. Thumbs down. Audience engagement is crucial. Prepare the points of engagement.
- RANGE. Change in tone creates energy. Speed differences. Voice modulation. You can talk quickly or slowly and be a powerful speaker. The key is to change it up.
- Pause. Nothing as powerful as a well-placed pause.
Third, body language.
- Big gestures that mirror what you’re saying verbally. Get creative.
Fourth, use space.
- If giving a presentation, move your body with each point purposefully. For Point A, stand here. For Point B, stand over there. Don’t nervously pace aimlessly.
- Stories have beginning, middle, and ends.
- Rehearse your jokes. Laugh lines should be prepared.
- You’re not as good as extemporaneous speaking as you think you are. Prepare.