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MARCH, 2019

The following are my notes on How To Speak With Confidence in Public. What I record is a reflection of my own interests as much as the content of the book.

How To Speak With Confidence in Public is a list of tips in a book. It has value and it’s accessible but, without a central narrative it is also forgettable. I have classified the book as ‘public transport appropriate‘ e.g. It can be read in a busy environment; you can experience the odd interruption and you will be able to pick up where you left off with ease.

90% of impact on the audience is formed by what  they see and hear, not what is said.

> Mood-Hoovers: Some audiences give nothing back, they’re called ‘mood hoovers’.

> Disconnection: If the audience is disconnected they zoom out and then make their judgement about the speaker – this is not desirable.

> Pauses: Can be used to give speaker time to think and give the speaker a sense of gravitas. For the audience it builds anticipation and time to digest what has been said so far.

> Meetings and Pauses: If you have low energy and pause in a meeting you’ll be interrupted. The trick is to have high energy and you can pause and control the audience, without your space being hijacked.

Pitching: Tone and excitement can determine pitching success (Alex Pentland ‘Defend your Research: We can Measure the Power of Charisma’).

‘> I’ versus ‘We’: Stories say ‘I’, not ‘we’: ‘We’ is obfuscating and lazy. If we do say ‘we’, we must define who that represents.

> Do not say ‘team’, instead talk about characters.

> All facts should have emotion attached to them, what they mean to people.

> One Message: We hear the spoken word only once, therefore keep your message simple.

> Slides: Should be understood by the audience within three seconds, otherwise they’re too complex.

“All things being equal, people will do business with a friend: all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”

Mark McCormack

Stories: Neural Coupling

> When someone is engaged in your story, their brain pattern matches yours, it can even predict your brain pattern.

> Brains filter out the predictable.

> Add: Character drive, narrative arc, new and surprising, searching and tension, resolution at the end. Create empathy with the speaker. Audiences are more likely to take action when emotional responses are heightened.