TRICKS OF THE TRADE #6
TRICKS OF THE TRADE (#9)
A column dedicated to “life hacks” from professional magician Jamie D. Grant of www.SendWonder.com
When it comes to life hacks, I think the one thing I get asked most is, “Jamie, do you have any tips for public speaking or speeches?!” You bet I do!
Here are my Top 10 pieces of advice and things to remember if you’re writing a speech or giving one!
1) People WANT you to do well. The audience is rooting for you. No one wants to listen to a terrible speech. So remember- the audience is on your side.
2) Eliminate “blue” humor. Sex jokes. I’m putting this high up on the list, not because these are in order, but just because I’ve seen this go wrong so many times. A little innuendo can work occasionally but you really need to know your audience. For the most part, the risk just isn’t worth it. Keep things clean.
3) Write it down. Not in point form. Every word. From the second someone says, “Let’s welcome Jamie D. Grant”, the next word I say, “Hello!” has been written down. Write down your entire speech- every syllable, every pause.
4) Record yourself (so easy to do with Voice Memos now) on your phone and listen back. This is going to hurt- but it needs to be done. Not only will it help you rewrite your speech, but it will also help your memory.
5) Eliminate “uh” and “um” from your life. This is another hard one and is difficult to catch. So how do we do it? Tell the person you spend the most time with to say the word “Speech” every time you say, “uh” or “um.” It’s shocking how much it’s said today.
6) Pick your outfit. I never hear about this tip, but it’s so important. If you know what you’re going to wear- and feel good doing so- it’ll help your nerves. Pick out what you’re wearing long in advance. Clean it, lay it out, and then don’t touch it. Put your speech clothes on a chair and leave them. Every time you pass by, go through what you’ll be saying.
7) Once you’ve written your speech down on paper, memorize a key line from every paragraph. Try and hook them together. Paragraph 1 might be an intro into who you are, and then Paragraph 2 might be how you met the groom. So hook a detail about yourself with a detail about the groom. Now hook a detail about the groom into something from your next paragraph. Do this all the way until the end.
8) Smile. People always like people better who smile. That’s a tip for all of life.
9) Do not apologize or give excuses. No, “I’m so nervous” or, “I’m sorry- I’ve never done this before.” Those words aren’t helping your speech. If it’s not helping your speech, don’t say it.
10) Take a moment. You’ve been asked to speak. That’s an honor- so enjoy it, don’t fear it!
Good luck! I can’t wait to hear you!
Jamie D. Grant is a writer and speaker from Vancouver, Canada.
You can watch how he does over here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lUHsFBqBrE