“Just do not take a tight grip of your two hands together and do not stand like this the whole speech” – these are the words I was telling myself during my first speeches in the public speaking club where I am trying to become a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
All my knowledge about public speaking back then could be summarized in a couple of words: move on the stage and do not lock your hands.
Each speech in our club is evaluated by an evaluator who is appointed to your speech. I often hear from my evaluators that I need to use the entire space of the stage and move a bit from one side to another. But not just walk from one side to another as I did during my first speech, almost showing my back as I literally walked. But do it without losing contact with the audience. Gradually you also learn not to close your hands and men learn not to put them into the pockets. And then, your hands are not locked, you keep them open and you start to do simple movements with them, which by itself is good, but becomes very repetitive similar and boring. So what to do? How to make your hand movements better? One of the tricks is to connect them with your story.
I ALWAYS THINK THAT MY STORIES AND SPEECHES DO NOT GIVE MATERIAL FOR MEANINGFUL MOVEMENTS AND BODY LANGUAGE. SO I ALWAYS BLAMED THE “STORY”.
So you get it, the material is not good, otherwise, I would be able to come up with something.
My last speech was a eulogy, praise for a person who is usually dead. This type of speech wasn’t my own choice. At our club, we follow a kind of program and one of the projects of this program is Social Speeches. I had to do two speeches for 4 minutes. But they should be of different types. One was a toast and another one is a eulogy.
I checked famous people who died last year and chose the founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad and devoted my speech to him.
…Buying Christmas presents at a sale after Christmas? Who does this? Well, one of the richest people in the world and one of the greatest businessmen in the world. We could even call it greed if we would not know that this was part of the philosophy and values of IKEA founder – Ingvar Kamprad.
I talked about how he is a billionaire still buys Christmas presents at an after-Christmas sale. How he was always focused on cost-cutting, even design of products was focused around cost-cutting, that he had dyslexia and this still did not stop him from opening his business at 17 years old. He also had alcoholism all his life and still, he managed to run the company till his very old age. And how once he was loading furniture into a car for a photoshoot and thought that it would be much easier if it would be without legs and he implemented the whole idea into a self-assembling approach for the furniture (yes, and we all now have an amazing experience of assembling Ikea furniture).
WHILE PREPARING FOR THIS SPEECH I DID NOT NOTICE ANY POTENTIAL TO USE MY BODY LANGUAGE AND CONNECT IT WITH THE STORY
A person who evaluated my speech is much more experienced in public speaking at least and he saw the potential right away:
- if you say, ‘I am going to tell three things’, then show three with your hands
- if you are talking about a special design of a cup, show it with your hands. If you talk about furniture, table, cutting legs of the table, show this cutting movement with your hands.
- if you mention an object, always use your hands to show size and shape.
It appeared that my speech was ideal for showing rich body language. Shapes, sizes, and numbers should be always supported by body language in addition to words and I missed this completely.