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How to Rock an Audience: from stage fright to stage presence
Train your brain to stop
self-sabotaging... Situation -------> Thought ---------> Feeling “The Event” “Your reaction” “How it makes you feel” i.e. He says, “Well, that was interesting.” i.e. “He didn’t like my talk” i.e. “bad” “worse” “Nobody liked my talk” THE SPIRAL “I should never speak again” “like running away and crying” stop the spiral of negative thoughts/feelings here by recognizing cognitive disorders
7 Common Cognitive Disorders Catastrophizing:
taking an event you are concerned about and blowing it out of proportion. (EVERYONE is going to HATE me!) Arbitrary Inference: making a judgment with no supporting information. (“He was giving me stinkeye the entire time” when he was trying to read the slides, so squinting) Personalization: taking someone else's behavior personally. (Audience member falls asleep and you take it personally) Selective Abstraction: focusing in on one bad comment in 10. Overgeneralization: basing future outcomes on current. (“This talk was a disaster, therefore EVERY talk in my future will be a disaster”) Dichotomous Thinking: two extremes. No grey. (They love me/they hate me) Labeling: making a feeling into a label. (“I answered that wrong, therefore I am incompetent.”)
Ways to practice • TECHNIQUE
ONE: script it: read over that script until you memorize it enough to be able to ad lib (note: do NOT use a script on stage) • read it to yourself 10x • read it out loud 10x • record yourself in garageband 2x • listen to it on your ipod 5x • THEN present it to someone else
Ways to practice • TECHNIQUE
TWO: let your deck tell the story • ‘Lessig Style’ - create 300+ slides that talk as you talk (it’s artsy and, consequently, shows well on slideshare) • TECHNIQUE THREE: story time • Personal stories are easier to remember. Put LOTS of them in. • TECHNIQUE FOUR: build in tons of audience interaction • get your audience to participate (warning: some audiences do not participate)
1. The hero’s journey normal
1. The call to adventure! 7. a new normal 2. dude, no way in hell. 3. something happens that you canNOT ignore normal crossing the the hero’s return threshold whoah! (gulp) 6. atonement + 4. challenges + temptations transformation helpers, mentors, allies + enemies come forth 5. The Abyss Death + Rebirth credit: Joseph Campbell (Hero’s Journey)
the abyss (death + rebirth)
= this one is tough. can you challenge your audience to have a ‘eureka’ moment? can you put them in the ultimate hero’s position? the death of old beliefs once and for all? this is conversion.
atonement & transformation = this
is the part of your talk where people are getting excited to get the heck out of your talk and go preach it to the rest of the world
a new normal = this
is not part of your presentation, but you are hoping that this is what your audience is experiencing.
Presentation Tips & Tricks •
stock photography is your friend. take your time to ﬁnd really great images. have them take up your entire slide. • fonts are art, too. stick to one, but have fun with size. • don’t play long videos. it’s just darned awkward. short videos are amazing, though. • ask the audience LOTS of questions, “Who here has heard of??” “What is your favorite ice cream ﬂavor??” • cheap tricks are awesome. use them. steal them from really good motivational speakers (watch lots of talks online + steal stuff). (money trick)
Getting gigs 101 • Ignite/BarCamp/Other
community events • SXSW Panels (search through them and email people who are hosting them to volunteer yourself) • APPLY/PITCH a talk - Web 2.0, ETech, etc. are all looking for female speakers. They don’t get enough applications from women each year. • If you like a conference you are at, go up and speak to the organizer about you speaking next year • other ideas?