Class Notes: Performance and Public Speaking with Dan Klein


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Class Notes: Performance and Public Speaking with Dan Klein

  1. 1. Content.Here’s one way you can think about structuring yourcontent to engage an audience.*Content roadmap Rule of ThreeFirst, you want to ramp up your audience. This is We see the power of threes quite often inyour opportunity to set the stage and really get them storytelling. The three part outline is common fromengaged. If all else fails, start with the word “you.” folk tales (Goldilocks and the Three Bears: too hot,Once you have their attention, be specific with too cold, just right) to our favorite films (pick anywhere you’re taking them. Give them a roadmap that romantic comedy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boyforeshadows the rest of your talk, before you jump in gets girl in the end).to your main points. Leave time to open the floor upfor a Q&A session. And don’t forget to leave your Using a three part structure makes youraudience with dessert! You want to end on a high presentation more familiar and understandable tonote: think about including a fact, anecdote, or an your audience. Try to distill your content down toexample as a take-away. three main points. For longer speeches each point can be supported by three sub-points.* Thanks to Dan Klein and Stand and Deliver.Here is a book about it: http://standanddeliver/book
  2. 2. Audience Focused Performance.How to design a presentation with your audience inmind.*Who is your audience? Ask yourself: why does the audience care about what I have to say? What matters to them? If you’re having trouble, start with what you believe in aboutToo often presentations are entirely focused on the you idea and why and then take it from there.presenter. You’ll hear things like,“I am... I had thisidea... I need...” etc. When you’re putting togetheryour next presentation, step back for a moment andthink about the audience. We vs.You Think about beginning your presentation with yourImagine who your audience is: college students, VC audience in mind. If all else fails, start with the wordfunders, your significant other? Think about the “you.” Don’t shy away from it or feel like you’reoutcome you want from them at the end of your talk: assuming too much. Beginning with the word “we”do you want people in the audience to sign up, may feel like a safer choice because it invokesdonate money, tell their friends? For that outcome commonality, but it also runs the risk of feelingto happen what do they need to know? What do disingenuous and can dilute your message. Eitherthey need to feel? way, if you can speak to an audience’s need and you’re right, they’ll listen.* Thanks to Dan Klein and Stand and Deliver.Here is a book about it: http://standanddeliver/book
  3. 3. Adding Details.Bring your story to life by adding details from one ofthese four “languages.”*How to: use details Activity: designing dessertConsider the following examples: An anecdote can be a great way to leave a lasting impression at the end of a presentation. For thisA man walks down the street carrying a box. activity, you’ll need a partner and about 10 minutes:A young man strolls leisurely down the street,carrying two small packages wrapped in yellow Partner One: Tell a 90 second story to your partnerpaper. He whistles as he walks, as if he had all the about a time you were moved.time in the world. Partner Two: Sum up the story you just heardWhich one reads more authentically? An important including the key elements. Bestow meaning on theaspect of performance and storytelling is conveying story and share your thoughts with your partner.authenticity. Try adding details to really bring your Partner One: Add details from one of the fourstory to life with the following activity. languages above and retell your 90 second story. Switch.* Thanks to Dan Klein and Stand and Deliver.Here is a book about it: http://standanddeliver/book
  4. 4. Delivery.A quick outline of how you can use body, voice, andeyes to connect with an audience.How to: use your voice Body languageYour voice is the principal mechanism for conveying Your body conveys your status through youryour content and keeping your audience’s interest. physical posture. Do you want to address your audience while you’re seated, with legs together andModulate your pitch, tone, and volume to create your arms folded around you? Are you leaned back,variety, keep your audience’s attention, and convey arms out, one leg kicked in the air? These twoauthenticity. If your voice is too monotone, that can postures convey different credibility and intent.make your audience bored; if it’s too consistentlyexcited, it’s easy to tune you out. Raise your sternum before you speak. Physically lift up your body to change your status.Thanks to Dan Klein and Stand and Deliver.Here is a book about it: http://standanddeliver/book
  5. 5. State.Your state speaks louder than anything during aperformance. Use these tips on physiology, focus, andbeliefs to get in the right state before you go on stage.* Change your physiology One of the quickest ways to change your state is to change your body. Try this exercise before your next meeting or presentation: jump up and down and laugh hysterically for 10 seconds. Actually go ahead and try it right now. How do you feel? Lighter? More relaxed? Are you smiling? Empower your beliefs A belief is a feeling of certainty about something. It is an interpretation of facts that is true if we believe it to be true. There are two types of beliefs that can affect your state: empowering and limiting.Focus your thoughtsTry the following exercise: Scan the room for 10seconds and take note of all the black things you see.Find them... find them. Now, close your eyes.Visualize the room and identify all the BLUE things.Not so easy, is it? We tend to see what we’re lookingfor and have a harder time seeing what’s beyondthat.You can change your mental focus by asking andanswering new questions. Try this: while walking or Empowering beliefs are ones that are going to helpjogging as yourself these questions: What am I you along; you want to burnish these and make themgrateful for? Answer it. Then ask it again and answer stronger. Limiting beliefs will hinder you; these arewith something new. Continue with the following the ones you want to tone down or flip them to bequestions: What am I proud of? What am I looking empowering beliefs.forward to? Each time you do this, lift your sternumand make your posture more upright. Try this exercise: on your own or with a partner (it’s nice to have a little support), think of a limiting belief.Next time you find yourself thinking about For example: my voice sounds weird on audio. Theneverything you need to do that day, or what didn’t think of ways that it can be changed to anget done, try shifting your focus to the questions empowering belief. You could reinterpret theabove. example: my voice is unique or my voice is part of my character on camera.* Thanks to Dan Klein and Stand and Deliver.Here is a book about it: http://standanddeliver/book