Give Your Talk A Goal
So the next lesson is about giving your talk a goal. This is a huge thing from Speechless' philosophy, if you're a presenter, you're a performer. A lot of people that give presentations or speeches, talks, demonstrations, whatever you call them, don't really think about the goal of it. They think about why they're up there, which is, it's my job, or I'm supposed to do this on behalf of my team, or I was on the team that created this product or whatever it may be, but what exactly are you trying to do? You're not just giving this talk, you're trying to do something in order to impact the audience, because even though it might be part of your job to present, you also have an audience, which means you're the performer, which means this entire thing is a show. So we have to figure out, at its heart, what is this, what's the genre of this show, if you will, or what's the overall takeaway that you want the audience to have? So in this particular exercise, we're gonna do something up on the w...
hiteboard really quickly. We're gonna kinda crowdsource it as a group, and then we're gonna have one person demonstrate this. So we're gonna kinda "Yes, and" off of what Kimberly just did with vocal variety, and we're gonna let this actually apply to a little bit more physical body language and gesture variety. But first, let's just think about exactly what these goals would be. So for the first line or column,
Do you want me to write?
I'm gonna write while you gather.
The first column is going to be verbs. So we already said it earlier when we were doing the statues the audience statues exercise. So think about some impacts you would like to make on an audience. Don't think about a particular talk, but just think about you as the presenter, and you as the speaker more. Like when you get up in front of people any given time, what do you want them to feel or do? So we heard inspire, and be engaged and things like that, so those are words that we can use again, but let's just have a list of verbs. Yes.
Learn. On the other side of that, we could say teach, or educate, because this is about what you want to do to the audience in front of you. So what do you want to do, and the impact and the change you wanna make on them.
This is coming from the stand-up world, kill, slay, murder.
You want to kill, slay, alright I'm getting concerned.
But you know, make them laugh.
Yeah, kill or make laugh.
Yeah, that's what they call it in the comedy world.
The fact that you said slay and murder. (laughter) Security. What were you going to say?
Create trust. I want to create trust, I want to make laugh, I want to teach, I want to provoke thought, or be thought-provoking. Anything else, we don't need too many of these.
Alright, I want to connect, or make connections. Great, so let's just go with those for now. This can be anything, like this is right now, crowdsourced amongst the people that are in this room. You all have different ideas in your head of what you would be doing onstage, so it doesn't even apply to any one person or any one talk, and that's true for anyone that's playing along at home. And I encourage you to do so, as well. So this is gonna show you just how to kind of like really define a goal that you can actively get. One thing about being an actor, and you are an actor, you are a performer when you're a speaker, is that you have to have a goal that's defined, and you have to have a way to get that goal. You have to kind of create tactics around it, but in this particular exercise, the next step is to do exactly what she's put up there. Come up with some adverbs. So if this is what we want to do, adverbs are how we're going to do it. Now, she's kinda standing in front of that column in a good way. I would like for you to block it, because I don't want you to think about those. I just want you again, just kind of have a blank slate in your mind. Let's just come up with some adverbs that might be a how to get to any kind of goal on stage.
Gonna make me spell inquisitively?
Wonderful, can you use it in a sentence? What's the Latin root of the word? That's great. So adverbs are, in a lot of ways, they're how you're doing something that kind of goes with that verb, and that is spelled perfectly, give her a round of applause! (applause) This whole time, it's been a spelling bee, it's been leading up to that.
I know, I've been trying to learn how to spell better.
Alright, let's think about Kimberly--
What would it be, what would that adverb be?
Saved you there.
These are great, though. Very difficult to spell, and that's great. Yes?
Narratively, alright. What else? Yes, Alba.
Actively. So now, just for the fun of it, let's let you look at these again, and see if there's any that maybe can qualify those verbs a little bit better, not that we wanted to do that in the first place, but now let's just give you free reign, and if you think of any other adverbs that might look nice or feel nice with those other words. How might you provoke thought? How might you teach, make laugh, create trust, or connect? You're gonna say murder again, aren't you?
Perhaps you could create trust narratively by speaking about yourself personally a little bit.
Personally, let's use personally, that's a great word. So simple but so loaded, and when we get to the next step, you'll see why I'm just trying to figure out what is your kind of roadmap to getting this goal, yes.
Kind of "Yes, and"-ing personally, self-deprecatingly.
Self-deprecatingly make laugh, I bet.
Another spelling bee. What were you gonna say, Maria?
Authentically, and we're gonna stop there, because these are really long and awesome words. Thank you. Give a round of applause to Kimberly, ladies and gentleman. (applause)
Wow, nailed it, alright. So, without further ado, I need someone to basically kind of prototype this exercise with me. So who would like to come up? It's very simple, but we're gonna have some fun, basically using some of those words that are up there.
I'll do it.
I think it's gonna be Jared. Ladies and gentlemen, here he comes, give him a round of applause. (applause)
My foot is asleep.
My entire being is asleep. Alright, strong hands. So let's flip sides, because I'm gonna write on the board in a second.
But what you're going to do is you're going to, one, pick one of these goals, these adverbs and verbs, we're gonna make a combination in a second. I don't want you to think too much about that at the moment. Then, you're going to define ways in which you could behave in such a way that the audience might perceive you as doing that, or you might be actively going after that goal.
And then we're just gonna have you talk. And it doesn't even matter what you talk about, because this is not gonna be about the verbal content as much as it's gonna be about how he physically expresses himself in order to, yeah, kinda be motivated to go after that goal and try his best to embody whatever this goal is. Because that's a big thing. A lot of times, people will say, I have this goal, and it's easy with the words, it's easier said than done, but the words can be easier because you can think those through, you can write those out. But then your body might actually contradict what your words are saying. Just like Kim said, some people are like, (monotone) I'm very excited to be here, and that's fine, because that just might be where they are, and that might be their default state. But how do you show that you are excited, if you can't really do it verbally? So, let's look over here. Do you have the marker?
Right behind you.
And we're gonna pick one of these verbs for you. So which of these verbs do you wanna kind of use as your goal when you're speaking to them? I know that you're probably gonna be impromptu speaking.
I think, I feel like thought-provoking and learn and teaching are kind of together. So I kind of, and they're different, but I think, if you're learning, if you're teaching, I think it provokes thought. So I like that, like teaching, that one.
So we're gonna go with teach. Because here's another thing: When you do this, if you do this here, or you do this at home, this list can be as long as you want it to be, it doesn't matter. I am all about high volume brainstorming and ideating. But what it ends up being, in terms of it being the most effective for this exercise, is you want something that you can actively do. Something that feels like you can actively do in a room with someone that's not too heady and not too kind of attitudinal if you will. So you're gonna teach. So pick one of these adverbs to go with it, not that you've thought about these adverbs going with it in the first place, nor are we trying to find, again, as with a lot of our exercises, we're not trying to find the perfect combination, we're just trying to make a combination and play it out. So which one do you wanna play out?
I'm between interactively and authentically, yeah, those two resonate with me. I guess maybe interactively?
Okay, let's go with that, that was your first impulse.
So you're gonna interactively teach. So down here really quickly, we're gonna come up with, we played in another class, an exercise called three things. I go back to it time and time again, because it was such a great way to really narrow your focus. I want you to give me, and if you can't think of them, you have your support here. Three ways that someone could physically or in the room be interactive. So how could you behave interactively? Give me just three ideas.
Ask questions of the audience. Call up an audience volunteer to help demonstrate something. And also use body language to impact them, I guess.
Let's be specific. What is interactive body language?
I guess not just being straight up and down. Kind of moving towards them.
Okay, so maybe break the fourth wall, or maybe go into the crowd.
Go into the crowd, perhaps, yeah, like walk amongst the audience, and climb over them and talk to them. Smell them.
Alright, you Know what?
I'm getting concerned. So this is a very simple way that we're gonna play this out. We do this with speakers all the time, where it's a very, very long process, but it's very easy to do it quickly, and that's what we're doing. So it's not gonna come out perfectly, that's not the point, we always say that, because it's just about iteration, but you're going to interactively teach the audience something, and you have created three tactics that allow you to do that in a more active way. And so these are the three things you're gonna do in order to interactively teach them, but I want you to just come up with something really simple you feel like you can teach people about. And it doesn't have to be something you're an expert on, but I want you to feel comfortable and confident.
Okay, um, I could probably teach, ooh, that's a good question.
Well, what do you do for your job?
Okay, can you teach us a little bit about that?
I could probably teach you about that. I could teach you about golf, product management, improv, Jiu-Jitsu. I could teach about Jiu-Jitsu if you want.
Jiu-Jitsu, okay, Jiu-Jitsu. So let's put two minutes on the clock, if you don't mind, booth, thank you very much. So for two minutes, just talk about Jiu-Jitsu. It doesn't have to be A to Z, just a component of it, whatever you would like to share. Knowing you only have two minutes, and knowing you have the goal to interactively teach. So teaching is what you're gonna be doing, and that just happens. But you're trying to make it more interactive, and the ways that you're gonna do that are these three things, so you just have like a little fun three, list of three things on your checklist to do. And let's see what happens.
Okay, so I'm gonna teach Jiu-Jitsu with a focus on self-defense, and with those three things in mind.
Yeah you're just trying to be interactive when you teach.
Okay, hello, audience, I'm here to teach you a little bit about Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense purposes today. Now, what do you notice about my body right now, if I stand like this? What do you notice about my body? Raise your hand. Yeah, Alba.
You're feeling very safe, because you're exposing the front of your neck.
I'm feeling very safe, because I'm exposing the front of my neck. Now, if I were in a confrontation with someone on the street, would I stand like that? What do you think? No, because why?
It exposes too much, it makes you vulnerable.
Very vulnerable. But now, if someone came up to me and threatened me, what would I do? I would probably stand something like this. I'd lower my chin, so I can't get knocked out, I would put my hands up, because this means I'm gonna fight. That's bad, it's also not good if you get sued. So what you wanna do is you wanna have your hands up, palms out. You wanna be like, whoa, whoa, whoa, relax, relax my man, relax my lady, whoever it is. Just calm down, calm down, don't-- Calm down. You don't wanna posture. Most people make the mistake of posturing. They get up like this, you want some, you get knocked out. Very foolish, very foolish. Jiu-Jitsu is about using the leverage in your opponent's weight against them. It's about a smaller person being able to defeat a bigger person. It comes from Japan, went over to Brazil in the 1940s. It comes from Judo, I'm giving you a brief history lesson of where it comes from. It was developed by the Gracie family, so that a smaller person could beat a bigger person. Now, I'm gonna come into the crowd, because I need a volunteer. Who wants to be a volunteer to try some-- Oh, John, come on up. Come on up, John, we're gonna do a little bit of Jiu-Jitsu right now. So what I'd like to do is I'd like to show you how a bigger person, I'm a pretty big person, I'm about almost 200 pounds. Well, I feel like I want a smaller participant. Let's just pretend you're 150 pounds. (laughter) Alright, well, we'll get Heidi to come on up. Come on up, Heidi, and we'll show you how to,
It's nice to think that you can beat him in a fight. (bell rings)
You're just big, you're as big as me, so I want a smaller person for this. Thank you for coming up, Heidi.
Now, I'll just show you one move as an example. Let's say I'm coming at you and I'm gonna push you, or let's say that I'm threatening you, okay? Go ahead and put up your hands, and just relax. And now, it's very common, a basic move is if I'm coming at you, you can step through, and just, I'll show you, let me show you. I'll step through, and I'll just sweep you this way, and so I can throw you on the ground.
To be continued in his CreativeLive course. Give a round of applause! (applause) Alright, you can take a seat, that was fantastic.
I think I forgot the--
No, you combined these two.
You can take a seat, you did a very good job.
So again, this is something that we have done in the context of this class in a particular way for the sake of time and for the sake of audience participation, but it's very effective when you're saying, okay, I have to talk about this thing that I have to talk about, it's my job or it's the team I'm on, or whatever it may be. But you just aren't really centered on what the goal of it is for yourself. Like what exactly are you trying to do to the audience? And we saw, you know, really quickly, you rattled off a bunch of things, and if you'd had an actual talk, if you were gonna give the Jiu-Jitsu demonstration and lecture, I'm sure that these might even change. This might get more specific, you know? But either way, you had thought-provoking, teaching, making people laugh, making them trust you and connecting, and then we had all these adverbs. And from there, you picked a couple, and then go from there. Once you've picked the combination, then you kind of just like bullet-point, again, use three things, because I think it's really fast to rattle them off. You do three tactics. Now, because we've already done verbal and vocal variety, we just worked about, you know, kind of like the physical side of it. Behavior and gestures, and things you could physically do. But I will do this particular exercise with the tactics with a client in all three ways. I'll say, what are three ways verbally or vocally you can kind of be interactive? What are three ways physically, and what are three ways maybe emotionally that you can, because you want to be able to layer all these things together, and what that does is it gives you kind of like another checklist if you will, cheat sheet if you will, of things to do, because performance is about doing something active. We don't want you to be in your heads, we wanna get whatever is in your head out of you, with your voice and your body and your emotions, and this is just a really great way to do it really quickly, and I always encourage you doing it in a writing setting, whether it's on a board or on a piece of paper, because it gives you options. Because it's very daunting to say, I want this keynote to do one thing. But if you say, hey, I don't have to pick that one thing. I'm just gonna write a half dozen, you'll see that some are better than others, or some resonate better with you or the setting. And you just pick that one. And you know what? Then you just do the same thing with an adverb, and you do the same thing with tactics, and then you try it, that's the next step that you have to do, and you know what? It may not work. It may not work, so then you go, you know what? I'm gonna pick another one of these, that's too hard. Let's go with inquisitively, and I'm gonna learn and teach again. And see, again, as I've said in a lot of the different exercises, it's a slot machine mechanic. Just pull the lever, and see if you get three sevens, or three cherries, or whatever it may be, and then whatever comes out at the bottom, that's what you gather up, because whatever that is, it's probably pretty good. It's probably better than not doing this, but it's not about creating the perfect version. It's about creating different iterations, different options, and finding the sweet spot of what you enjoy, what you think is perfect for your audience, and what's something you maybe wanna replicate again. So did that make sense? Any questions about that, before we move on?
I like how it gets to sort of your theme and your flow and the feel of your talk. From a different direction, instead of just writing down a theme which will bore you.
Yeah, yeah, I think that, again, everything that we do is from the perspective of performer, and especially acting. Sometimes when people speak, they don't think about what their motivation is, if you will. And you have to have something. It's not just because it's part of my job, or because my boss said so. Or because I got asked to speak. Okay, well, what's next? You got asked to speak, that's really great! What are you gonna speak about? Check. Why are you speaking about it? And that's where you wanna kind of dive into this stuff. Like what exactly are you trying to do? What do you want the audience, we always say, what do you want the audience to think feel or do after they hear you? And we also like to say that after your talk is over, that's when the conversation begins. Because something needs to happen after that's over, whether it's they go learn Jiu-Jitsu from this person, or they learn more about it from someone else because they got inspired by him because he taught them interactively, but that's what you're trying to do. You're trying to set up something that happens after the talk is actually over.