There is no single formula for a great talk – Chris Anderson
From 2017 we started a path with the company aimed at improving and strengthening the soft skills of the consulting department with regard to issues related to public speaking. Thanks to Agnese Salvagno, our teacher, we have understood that everyone must find their own style and their approach to not seem artificial and fake. Oratory skills can be taught, there is no single approach or method, and to learn it there are 8 basic rules (communication skills).
- BEING OURSELVES
Being ourselves, authenticity is the key not the artificiality. The public does not have to feel manipulated, it does not have to feel that we are acting.
- HAVE AN IDEA WORTH TELLING
To have an idea that the public can clearly grasp and assimilate, take with them and maybe applying a some form of change. An idea like a seed that we can plant in the mind of the other and then sprouts.
The first question is: do I have a good idea? Something worth thinking of being told or listened to? Something I care about? What am I convinced of? Is there anything I have seen, heard, experienced, done, discovered that could be interesting and useful for other people? Something that really excites me. Choose a key idea, which will be deepened, analyzed and explored.
As speakers, your fundamental mission is to take something that you hold dearly and rebuild it in the minds of those who are listening to you” – Chris Anderson
- DO RESEARCH
The research we do to prepare a speech, the questions we ask ourselves in collecting information, can be “the same nodes” of our discourse, then the most important questions / themes, the most controversial aspects or still to be explored.
- WHO LISTEN TO ME? WHAT IS THE COMMON LANGUAGE BETWEEN ORATOR AND PUBLIC
We can only start from the knowledge and references that the public already has if we want to hope to be understood. We must start from the knowledge, values, experiences, creating a common ground from which to start a shared journey that leads to a new and wonderful place, which allows us to instill the seed of our idea.
We must seek common ground from which to set out on a shared journey
- THE THREAD
The speech must have a good conductor thread, an invisible red thread that keeps the various elements linked, so that the overall meaning of the speech must “spin” and be comprehensible from beginning to end. The pieces of the speech must be connected to each other and have their coherence. The common thread should be thought of as “a rope to which to attach all the constituent elements of the idea that you want to build”.
What idea do I want to rebuild in my public’s mind? What do I want them to bring home? Try to condense the “conducting thread” in no more than 15 words that have their own sense, consistency and solidity.
The common thread must bring something new, fresh, unexpected, captivating so as not to bore the public.
- LESS IS BETTER
Saying too many things means to explain badly
Wanting to give too many concepts, in too little time, is likely to not give people time to metabolize what is proposed and often does not sufficiently deepen concepts that are new to the public, especially if it does not have the background of the speaker.
Better less concepts but enriched with examples, stories, anecdotes and facts
- THE STRUCTURE
If the common thread is the trunk of the tree, the structure is branches and roots. There isn’t a structure that is always good; the structure depends on the common thread that we want to follow. The structure for facilitating us can be designed, just like a kind of tree.
- PREPARE THE SPEECH THINKING TO TALK TO A SINGLE PERSON
Think of a real person, specific, informed or not of what we do and imagine to address the matter to him/her, have him/her in front of us and talk to him/her, thinking about what reactions he/she might have and what reactions we would like to raise and how to do it.
What gift can people bring home with them? Something that is really useful and spendable for them? What will you leave to your listeners?
In conclusion I want to underline that everyone has his own style, there is no rule or right way for everyone. Every speaker should know himself and know what is most useful for him, for example there is someone who writes the entire speech as a script and reads it and learns by heart and who makes a lineup of key points and then talks about it. The important thing to remember is that you are giving a gift to those who listen to you.