I found the Academy Awards to be a bit……..well, boring (and apparently, those checking their cell phones did, too). But, of course I soldiered through it so that I could write a post for my wonderful readers. You’re welcome.
In a short post, I wanted to share with you a few public speaking tips I’ve been wanting to improve on and that were exemplified during the Oscars: A- The Call Back (which I learned from Craig Valentine) & B- Don’t be Afraid to Mess it Up
Octavia Spencer – Craig Valentine’s The Call Back
The first sentence out of Octavia’s mouth was to thank the Academy for sitting her next to someone so hot!
To spice up your presentation, be like Octavia and “call back” to something that happened prior to your presentation that the entire audience can relate to – make a humorous comment about the food, the commute, the presentation before yours. Something that will engage your audience and that is specific to that moment.
This is also a helpful tip for those who have trouble communicating in social settings. Instead of continuously wracking your brain to find something to talk about or settling once again to talk about yourself, find something in your immediate environment to have a conversation about. Is the wine from Argentina? Talk about your recent trip to Buenos Aires. Notice that someone is wearing a crocheted scarf. Talk about your love of crocheting.
Billy Crystal – Don’t be Afraid to Mess Up
When I mess up during a presentation, my first reaction is to apologize. Something like, “Umm..Sorry I’m such a fool. I forgot what I was about to say.”
I loved how Billy Crystal made a mistake with one of his lines and instead of mumbling or apologizing he turned the moment into a joke and started over. He used that moment to do a very humorous rewind, by talking backwards, walking backwards, and returning to the start of his line. To be a professional does not mean that you are perfect. A professional means that you can make a mistake, not let it derail you, but you keep it moving.
Both The Call Back and Not Being Afraid to Mess Up means practicing and using Spontaneity!
Oh, congrats to the lovely Meryl Streep for the best actress award for the Iron Lady (although, I was pulling for Viola Davis ;).
Did you watch the Oscars? What are some speaking tips you learned?