Monday, January 8, 2018

Public Speaking Goals (Inspired by Oprah)

I still kick myself for a weak speech I gave several years ago. My time slot was 3-4 minutes. I was addressing the incoming first-year class of students at orientation. It was a big deal for me, truly honored. I had my Say Anything reference ready to go. But it took at least one full minute for my voice to warm up. I hit that mic colder than a Buffalo winter. By the time I found my voice, the speech was nearly over. I still managed to describe college as a "dare to be great situation," but I wasn't happy with how it turned out. Any speech since then, I've coached myself to hit that mic sounding as strong as possible. No seconds to spare. I public speak all the time in the classroom -- but I've got 55 or 80 minutes depending on class time, so I have a few minutes to warm up and stretch out. Not the case when your time is so limited.

All this to say Oprah was excellent from the get go at the 2018 Golden Globes. The part that especially stood out to me is when she got a standing ovation after landing the powerful phrase "their time is up" -- at the 6:43 mark. Less than 7 minutes to get a roaring ovation!! Note how effective she was in saying "time is up" in 3 different ways. Brilliant. 99.9% of us will never be as talented as Oprah and will never be able to deliver a speech like this, but still we can try to learn from her. When it comes to a short speech, there is no time to waste in trying to hook an audience and no time to rev up your voice. Go hard from jump street and do what you came to do. Channel Oprah!

No comments:

Post a Comment