Expos have long been an opportunity for businesses and nations alike to discuss global trends from the metaverse to nanotechnologies. No matter how big or small the topic, presenting to a global audience can be a daunting prospect. Hence, here at London Speech Workshop, we have drawn from The Serlin Method™ to provide you with five ways to level up your skills.
Create An Interesting Vocal Landscape
This first step is to create what we call an interesting vocal landscape. This is about how you use your voice in an interesting way - to bring colour, texture, dimension to the ideas you are sharing.
You achieve this by injecting expressiveness into your words and ideas. A dull, dreary and flat landscape is like a desert - it is flat, beige and empty - and as such - very difficult for your listeners to find anything to catch and maintain their attention. In the desert landscape, the audience’s thoughts would be blown away from the presentation to another corner of their mind - a shopping list, Love Island or the conversation they had with their spouse the night before.
You want to make your vocal landscape lush and interesting, just like Steve Harvey does in his Dubai Expo speech.
Notice how he emphasises key words with clarity and uses intonation, emphasising key words with higher pitch and volumes. He does this with positive words that match his theme of happiness, such as “amazing” and “change your mindset”.
Have A Strong Governing Idea
This is all about what you say. A governing idea consists of the following:
- It should have a lot of value attached to it; it should improve people’s lives.
- It can be an idea that you want your audience to shift their perspective on.
- It can relate to a pain point, or the need to achieve success.
If we look at Steve Harvey again, he draws into a common pain point fairly early on in the speech. He is trying to provide some guidance to the audience how to figure out what makes them happy.
Drive Home Your Values
Thirdly, you want to bring in something of your drivers or your values. You want to illustrate to your audience that you are driven by a desire to in some way, make your corner of the world a better place. Rather than simply sales, or profit. To find your values, you can do a simple value finding exercise - such as thinking of a time you were truly proud of yourself, and then picking out values that were at play. (you can always use a values list like this one if you need a bit of inspiration).
For Steve Harvey, the key value he pushes is his faith, which he emphasises throughout his speech.
Let's Talk Non-Verbals
It's important to make sure your body language adds colour and dimension to what you say and how you’re saying it. It can be easy to get awkward physically when on a stage with hundreds of eyes on you, and that is the most natural thing in the world. Before you go on, check out your body - this will get the blood moving. Then when on the stage - keep your elbows bent, and hands above your belly button. Avoid putting your hands in your pockets. Using your body has all sorts of positive effects. It sends signals to your brain that you are moire relaxed, thereby helping you to relax and feel more at ease, and secondly, it makes the content more memorable for the audience. As an extra bonus, it also frees up your voice and your imagination, so you can bring more of your uniqueness which is going to lift the whole speech.
Take a look at Prince William talking to delegates at the Dubai Expo 2020. Neither of his hands are in his pockets, he uses vibrant hand gestures to amplify what he is saying. He also maintains strong eye contact and leans towards the listener to convey his interest and attention.
Dealing With Q&As
Finally, presentations at expos are often accompanied by Q&As. It’s important to be prepared for this. If someone asks a question, make them feel good about asking it, even if you don’t like the question. An easy response is to say how great their question is. Listen well, and make people feel important.
Cristiano Ronaldo practices several of these approaches even before his Q&A starts at the Dubai Expo, thanking the audience for turning up, and thanking the country’s inviting culture. Ronaldo shows himself as an attentive listener, able to absorb the interviewer’s question, and also shows personality by bringing in some of his own personal stories.
So there you go, 5 key tools that can help you present effectively at an expo,