NOTE: This is the post that started it all. It uses the analogy of superpowers to discuss speaking techniques. It was first posted on my “The Secrets of Public Speaking” blog, which has now been folded into this blog.
Imagine if public speakers were super-heroes. What would their powers be? If I were to describe the powers of Public Speaking Woman or Orator Man, this is how I would do it.
The Power of Eye Contact
Sincerity is a great element in public speaking. No other part of the body can show it better than the eyes. When Public Speaking Woman speaks in front of people, she looks at them and makes eye contact with several people in the room. This way she helps establish rapport with her audience and shows them that she is honest about what she is sharing with them.
The Power of Visual Aids
Not all people are willing to listen that long. So, in order to retain their attention, Orator Man uses powerful visual aids. He shares charts, graphs, and illustrations that help him communicate his points. His visual aids are clear and uncluttered, and they always support what he is saying.
The Power of Handouts
Public Speaking Woman wants her audience to remember what she has talked about. So, she provides handouts for her audience. Sometimes the handouts are copies of her visual aids that she hands out at the beginning to help the audience take notes. At other times, the handouts are supporting articles or other material that go into greater detail on the topic. Either way, these handouts always support what she has to say and help the audience review her key points later.
The Power of Confidence
No matter how detailed his prepared speech is, Orator Man always has the courage and confidence to deliver it in front of an audience. He stands tall. His voice is clear and strong. The passion he feels for his topic is apparent.
The Power of References
Public Speaking Woman bolsters her facts with dependable resources. When necessary, she cites statistics, quotes experts, and references published work. This shows that she knows what she is talking about and that she is not alone in her conclusions.
Now, imagine you have these powers when you step up to the podium. You would be unstoppable!
The book Public Speaking Super Powers greatly expands on the concept explored in this post. Carma interviewed 80 speakers and uncovered some interesting superpowers — and how to develop them.