3 Ways To Always Sound Original (Even If Your Presentation Isn’t)
Posted on October 24, 2012 by Leslie Dickson
Some public speaking topics are easier than others. If you’re talking about a breakthrough in modern medicine the new idea can carry the presentation. However, if you’re trying to convince a room full of potential clients to purchase your product, chances are you aren’t the first person to tell them about a very similar product. In these situations you need originality to stand out. Since your presentation topic may not stand out, here are three ways to make your presentation original.
#1 Your Word Choices
A couple years ago I was speaking to some colleagues in a group setting. I began to tell a story about my weekend and my coworkers were responsive. Halfway through the story, one woman in the back started chuckling. I asked her why she was laughing. She replied “You sound like you’re from the Middle Ages.”
Though, I’d argue using “yee” once in a conversation isn’t grounds for a medieval comparison, I can almost guarantee that very few people use the word in common conversation.
While you should always keep your audience in mind when choosing your words, don’t shy away from some of your favorites. As long as “plethora” makes sense within the context of your presentation you can sound like yourself and stand out.
#2 The “Way” You Speak
In an effort to mimic successful speakers, many new speakers attempt to imitate them. While learning lessons from the greats is a great strategy for new speakers, direct imitation has one glaring problem: it sounds (and feels) fake. Unless you’re a well-trained actor or frighteningly skilled liar, mimicking a famous speakers speech patterns will sound forced and the audience will write you off as disingenuous and unoriginal.
Much like your word choices, your “way” of speaking is unique to you. So view your speech like a conversation. You’ll be more comfortable using your natural speaking rhythms and body language and your audience will feel like they’re interacting with a human being.
#3 Your Experiences
If you want to tell a story your audience has never heard before, look at your own life. Stories from your own life are excellent ways to stand out for a number of reasons. First, they’re truly yours. Even if you’ve shared an experience with someone your perspective, insights and reactions are all your own.
Next, stories are great way to connect with your audience. The crowd may not have been frightened by a human Scarecrow on Halloween, but they will certainly remember their own Halloween experiences. Finally, once again you get a chance to show the audience your humanity and your personality.
Crafting an original presentation doesn’t have to be a chore. Frequently speakers spend so much time trying to find a new way to present their material that they forget the easiest way to sound original: be yourself. Your audience may have heard everything you have to say before, but they haven’t heard it from you!
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