Part 4 On The Stage
TED speakers don’t wear suits according to Chris Anderson author of TED Talks! Be comfortable. Wear casual clothing that gives a sense that we’re all at some comfortable fun retreat together. Remember to dress for the people in the back row by wearing bright colors so our image really pops. Fitted clothing is better than baggy clothing. No wrinkled clothes. Also, remember that TED Talks records us for video. So, avoid all white and jet black, as well as small tight patterns. Ladies, you’re probably not going to want to wear big dangling ear rings that could make distracting noises the microphone might pick up. Also, wearing a belt helps because we can attach the microphone battery pack to it.
We can control our nerves by focusing on the message instead of ourselves. Remember, we’re there to give not to get. If still nervous, we can focus on our breathing and repeat our mantra of, “I got this!”, and “This is fun!” We can also do some physical exercise or visualize someone who we admire that always looks like they’re having fun up there. If we’re up on that stage, it means that someone thought we had something valuable enough to say to put us up there. They are rooting for us, and so is the audience. So let’s do this!
Let’s be brave and bold and courageous by moving out from behind the lectern. Don’t worry. Our notes can stay right there on the lectern and we can glance at them as we sip water from time to time as I mentioned earlier. TED Talks also has other ways too of helping support us and our message. TED has the technology for us to use slides, or have our notes on a back distant screen where no one sees it but us. However, this strategy allows some of the crowd to see that we are not really looking at them.
Some speakers use their iPhone, but this can be tricky though because the screen is small and it’s easy to lose our connection with the audience while looking down for an extended time trying to find our place as we’re stuck scrolling through our notes. Struggling to find our place again usually isn’t the best way to give a speech.
TED Talks also has a confidence monitor aimed up at us from the floor and even an autocue, which is a screen that is invisible to the audience, even though it’s right in our line of sight just as if we were looking right at them. As awesome as this may seem, some in the audience will still figure out that we’re not really looking at them, but instead are reading from an invisible screen. Even among all this awesome technology that TED Talks provides, sometimes some good old fashion notes on a cue card or a simple sheet of paper up at the lectern is still the best bet.
Regardless of how we approach our talk, let’s just remember to be authentic. Let’s relax and just give our talk in our own way. Let’s not be afraid to let our personality shine through. After all, our personality is one of the most important parts of the speech. Also, important is remembering that speaking is a very impactful way of sharing ideas because we can literally turn the information we want to share into inspiration. We can create this inspiration by injecting a variety of strategies not available to the written word, such as, the volume we use, our pitch, pace, timing, tone and prosody, which are all based on the meaning that we’re trying to convey. And we always need to remember that what we have to say is meaningful.
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.