Advanced Public Speaking Skills

Advanced Public Speaking Skills

Former President Barack Obama

Five Body Language Tricks to get people to like you

Watch Video

Review 5 Body Language Tricks

  1. Smile the first time
  2. Eye contact
  3. Body pivot
  4. Limit the fidget
  5. Using hands

Practice in class

Practice with friends and family between now and next session

Make Body Language your Super Power (how and where to stand)

Watch Video – Start at 2:59 end at 6:20

Review the following points:

1. Stand facing the people
2. Position of strength in the room
3. How to stand (find base posture)

Practice with a partner by telling them what your week was like

Partner comments on your body language by                                          •identifying things they did well                                                                •offering one or two suggestions for improvement

Switch rolls.

Types of Gestures and How to Use Them

Watch Video – Start at 6:09 stop at 10:27

Review 3 Types of Gestures

1. The Give (open, truthful, receptive)

2. The Show (hands to chest, heartfelt)

3. The Chop (or hands down, stronger message, emphasis, power)

Also mention two more not in the video: 

4. Signposting with fingers when making a series of points

5. Pointing for the purpose of identifying or accusing 

Divide into pairs and practice using gestures, trying to use the three primary gestures in a speech

First person to speak stands up and talks about something they are passionate about (an interest, an event in their live, an issue, a person . . .)

Second person, takes notes on the types of gestures used and how they felt to the viewer

Reverse rolls

Practice conscious gestures with friends and family between now and the next meeting

Using Silence when Speaking

Preliminary Exercise:

  1. Break into pairs – choose one person to be ‘A’ and the other ‘B’ 
  2. Think of a topic you are passionate about (something political, social, religious – it does not matter) 
  3. Write down one sentence that summarizes your opinion or position on this topic.  
  4. When everyone is done, the person designated as ‘A” does the following:
    • Exercise 1:
      •  ‘A’ stands and gives their statement to ‘B’
      • Coach offers no direction except that ‘A’ to sustain eye contact with ‘B’ until the they are done giving their opinion/position statement.
    • Exersise 2: Same exercise with two additional instructions
      • “A” needs to put a pause somewhere in their opinion/position
      • ‘A’ keeps looking ‘B’ in the eye until coach says stop
      • Coach says stop 4 seconds after all statements are completed.  (Note if pause is too long the silence becomes awkward 
  5. Switch roles, this time ‘B’ is the speaker, same exercises
  6. Discuss as a group the following
    • Listeners: What effect did the pause have during and after the statement?  
    • How did this feel for the speaker?
    • How do you think silence might be used in public speaking
      • brainstorm
      • create list on board

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause”   Nate Ward

Watch: Letting silence speak for you

Discuss the video clip

Summarize: How silence can be used in public speaking

  1. For emphasis
    • During a speech 
      • Consciously decide where to pause
      • Write in the word ‘pause’ in outline
    • At the end of the speech
  2. As transitions between talking points
  3. To replace fillers
    • To replace vocal fillers (um, ah and so forth)
    • To replace verbal fillers (so, and, now . . .)
  4.  To generate interest
    • Before starting to speak
      • Stand in the position you are going to start speaking from
      • Look briefly at the audience, jury, or witness
      •  Look away briefly for a second to collect yourself (creates interest in the listener)
      • Look back to the audience, make eye contact, and start speaking
    • While speaking 

Using Hooks in your Introduciton

Hook:   An opening statement (which is usually the first one or two sentences) in a speech that attempts to grab the audience’s attention so that they want to listen further. 

Some examples of devices to create hooks: 

  1. Short descriptive stories
    • “She was 7 years old.  Left alone by her foster parents in a dangerous section of downtown Chicago at 1 A.M. in the morning.  The street was filled with strangers who were drunk, peddling drugs, and selling sexual services.”
    • Sets the tone with facts. Leave it for the listener to fill in what the little girl was feeling.
    • “In Geroge Orwell’s book 1984, there was the refrain ‘War is Peace.’  I totally agree with this.  You will not convince me otherwise. War is Peace.  Without it our great nation would cease to exist.”
    •  Biblical quotes are a favorite, both in politics and trials
  3. Analogies
    • “Love is like a rose, it has both beauty and thorns.”
    • Be careful  with analogies – make sure they are strong enough or the  listener will think about reasons the analogy does not apply.
  4. Strong statement 
    • “The United States is not, and has never been, a democracy.” 
    • Creates interest by leaving the listener wondering why
    • Listener does not have to agree or disagree with the statement
    • Could also present the theory of the case in a trial.
  5. Rhetorical questions
    • “Would you sell your soul to the devil?  What would it take?  Money?  Power?  Success? What about medical insurance if your 5 year old child had cancer?” 
    • Alerts the listener at the end that the speaker may be going to talk about health insurance
    • Dangerous to use (especially at trial). The listener may not answer the questions the way you want them to.  
  6. Anecdotes
    • “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The investment adviser you just hired to manage your retirement money doesn’t believe it though. She loves hedge funds, day trading, and speculating on commodities.”
    • Make sure that the anecdote is then tied to concrete examples

Rhetorical Devices

(Go over these and have them available for using in oratorical and impromptu speeches)

  • Quotes
  • Analogies
    • Comparison between two thing for the purpose of explanation or clarification
  • Similes/metaphors
    • Simile – Comparison using like or as. “Smart as a fox.”
    • Metaphor – Directly states the comparison. “Love is a battlefield.” 
  • Illustrative stories
  • Word pictures
    • A vivid description
  • Parallel structure
    • Repetition of a chosen grammatical form within a sentence
    • Most commonly uses conjunctions like ‘and’ or ”or’
    •  “When John drives he likes speeding, texting, playing music and singing.”
  • Repetitive structure
    • Repetition of the same pattern of words or phrases within a sentence or paragraph
    • Show two or more ideas have the same level of importance.
  • Trilogies
    • Groups of three
    • Example: “Blood, sweat and tears.”
  • Refrain
    •  line or group of lines that regularly repeat, usually at the end of a paragraph
  • Enumeration 
    • Counting up, a one by one listing