Speak Like an Oscar Winner: Two Public Speaking Tips to Practice Spontaneity

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? 

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2 Responses to Speak Like an Oscar Winner: Two Public Speaking Tips to Practice Spontaneity

  1. Marko says:

    Great insight again! Continuing with your thread, #3 BE PREPARED! I have botched a Best Man speech (years ago) simply because I did not prepare. If there is even the most remote possibility that you may speak at a function, take five minutes and put together something. If nothing else it could save you years of recalling that missed or fuddled moment and maybe it could be a success that builds you up. By the way, after seeing the Oscar acceptance speeches and presentations, I am convinced that Toastmasters has some serious value for us all! Keep SpeakingTall!

    • speakingtall says:

      Even a short preparation will do wonders! At the very least, formulate a list of points that you want to get across as to avoid mumbling through a presentation.

      Thanks for stopping by again!

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