How to Rock an Audience: from stage fright to stage presence

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  • 1. How to rock an audience: from stage fright to stage presence by Tara Hunt
  • 2. Outline• Intros• The FEAR• The Preparation• The Presentation• The Gigs• Presentations!
  • 3. exercise 1: introductions. pick a topic (any topic)and pitch it to us for 30 seconds.
  • 4. the fear
  • 5. Our instinctual brain thinks that a group of peoplelooking at us silently means they are about to eat us.
  • 6. they are.
  • 7. Well, they are about to devour our words and ourlessons.
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 7 Common Cognitive DisordersCatastrophizing: 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. (“Hewas giving me stinkeye the entire time” when he was trying to read the slides, so squinting) Personalization: taking someone elses 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.”)
  • 10. exercise 2: get up and tell us the story of thescariest thing that ever happened to you.
  • 11. the preparation
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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)
  • 14. tip: practice silence instead of fillers. (listen for your“ums” “uhs” “likes” “you knows” and practicereplacing them with dramatic silent pauses)
  • 15. remember: the more you practice, the better it willgo.
  • 16. exercise 3: blah blah blahs. yadda yadda yaddas.
  • 17. the presentation
  • 18. 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 thethe 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)
  • 19. the hero =your audience
  • 20. you =gandalf/morpheus/dumbledore
  • 21. the call to adventure =“When I am done with you today, you will look at the world in a different way.”
  • 22. dude, no way in hell. = addressing the skeptics.“Okay, I can see your puzzled looks...let me share some ideas that may change your mind.”
  • 23. something happens that cannot be ignored = story/stats/mind-blowing research
  • 24. get them ACROSS that threshold
  • 25. challenges + temptations = examples/case studies/stuff that makes theaudience think about how they can apply this new knowledge to their world
  • 26. 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.
  • 27. 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
  • 28. a new normal =this is not part of your presentation, but you are hoping that this is what your audience is experiencing.
  • 29. exercise 4: put together a 5 minute hero’s journeyin groups of 2.
  • 30. 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)
  • 31. the gigs
  • 32. 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?
  • 33. Getting paid• When?• How?• How much?• What is the difference (other than the money)• questions?
  • 34. exercise 5: final presentations.
  • 35. Tara(@missrogue) Huntceo/co-founder, Buyosphere tara@buyosphere.com 514-679-2951 www.buyosphere.com www.horsepigcow.com twitter.com/missrogue