The Corgi Boss Guide to Public Speaking
by Joe Flaco --- July 4, 2017
This comic marks the boss’s third appearance since the very first strip! You’d think he would have appeared more in the previous eight, but heavy weighs the crown. He’s been in editorial meetings up to this point. However, here he is, giving an important speech.
As acts go, it’s an odd social activity to stand up in a room full of people and focus their attention on your words. It’s even harder if you don’t have anything interesting to say. You can think that you are energizing the crowd, but your speech can fall flat like this one. Although, I don’t think anyone would accuse the boss of being low energy, he really has no clue what he’s talking about and that undermines his ability to motivate.
I’ve found myself in this situation often enough, and this probably relates to last week’s column on faking it until you make it. I’m not the type of person who enjoys suffering fools, so it’s difficult when you are the fool. If you have a (un)healthy amount of self-loathing, even you don’t want to listen to yourself speaking and that can come across to the audience. Nonetheless, if it’s your job to speak in front of people, there are ways to engage with your audience.
Grabbing Your Audience’s Attention
Here are some tips to help keep your listeners hanging on your every word:
- Feel free to externalize your existential suffering into a primal scream in the middle of your speech. If your audience thinks you are having a nervous breakdown, they will begin to fear for their safety. This activates their adrenaline and fight or flight mechanism, which will help them focus on everything you do.
- Create a mystery box like JJ Abrams. Constantly refer to vital information that the audience doesn’t know as if you’ve already discussed it in another meeting or a memo. Since, as JJ says, “the withholding of information is much more engaging,” listeners will automatically be into your speech even if the ending never provides any of the answers it originally promised.
- Flip the dynamic. Choose someone from your audience who you think should know about the topic, or that you just hate, and ask them to take your place without any warning. No one can look away from a car crash so create one in your presentation!
See you all on Thursday!
Trivia: The Hobarken Herald is a newspaper with a great heritage. It’s been in declining circulation since 1849!