Special Delivery – Giving Talks, Presentations And Speeches With Awesome Delivery – Part 1 Of 2

It can be so frustrating. You hear a comedian tell the absolute funniest joke in the world. It’s so funny that you’re on the floor for ten minutes, shrieking hysterically. The next day you tell the same joke to your friends and their reactions are, to say the least, more subdued.

Now you’re devastated. “Don’t you get it?” you ask. They tell you they did get it, but it just wasn’t all that funny. “I guess you had to be there,” you mutter.

You know, often it’s not so much the joke itself that puts you on the floor, but the way it’s told. Comedians are masters of expression, voice-tone, timing, and all the subliminal little things they do that makes their renditions sparkle. Without these, yours will most likely fall flat.

It’s the same with any form of public speaking. It’s not just the words you say, but how you say them and how you send them to your listeners.

In short, it’s all in your delivery.

Delivery is everything in a talk or presentation. Okay, maybe not everything. Of course its content matters greatly as well.

But … if you want to really WOW your audience, keep in mind that your content – your words – need to impact the listener.

Now, the word, “impact” may seem to suggest a ranting and raving not unlike a pep rally or a political speech a-la Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, certain talks call for this sort of highly-charged, impassioned delivery. But even if your talk is of the lower-key sort – a business meeting or a class, for instance – you certainly don’t want to bore your listener.

Great delivery is, above all, a matter of:

1. Intensity

2. Expression

Today we’ll cover intensity. By this I mean, first of all, to speak intensely. Keep your voice strong and clear. Speak up! Don’t say you can’t. Of course you can! What would you do if your child just doused the cat with half a bottle of your $60 cologne? Mumble? Whisper? I don’t think so. No, you would use those lungs of yours! Do the same in your talks. Push, push, push! Belt those words out! Listeners love it.

Second, speak as if you are very interested in your subject. It would help if you could find your way toward becoming very interested in it. But even if you can’t … fake it! Like the saying goes, “fake it ’til you feel it!”

A good speaker can get an audience fired up about nearly anything. Even the most mundane subjects can, if delivered with intensity, come alive. Think of the announcer on a commercial for a “New!” tortilla chip. How does he talk? Pretty intensely, right? We’re talking about a bag of salty, greasy fried corn here. But the way this person is speaking, you’d think they’d found a cure for cancer.

So I don’t care if you’re presenting a quarterly sales report, or giving a lecture on upholstery repair. Present that information with as much intensity as you possibly can! Make the subject interesting. Make the content stick in the listener’s mind. Make an impact upon your listener. Make them glad they came.
Conjure up as much infectious enthusiasm for your subject as you possibly can. And let it show on your face.

In fact, exaggerate. By that I mean, whatever mood you’re trying to express, exaggerate it. Don’t just sound interested, sound very interested. Don’t just sound encouraging, sound very encouraging.

You see, more often than not, the intensity with which we speak arrives at the listener in a weakened state. I don’t mean just the volume. It’s as if traveling through twenty-five feet of airspace simply dilutes half the energy right out of it. So, to compensate: Put more intensity, interest, and energy than you think you need.

Don’t worry that you might go too far with this. I’ve never seen a speaker who I thought was too “into it” – with the exception of a few over-the-top politicians, perhaps. More often than not, the opposite is true.

Ask yourself: How many speakers have I heard who were too excited? Or who made me feel too excited? Then ask: How many speakers have I heard who weren’t interesting enough? (i.e., bo-o-ring!)

To be interesting, be interested!


In Part Two of “Special Delivery” we’ll look at the truly fun component of great delivery: Expression. Until then, I wish you the best with your public speaking endeavors!