February 12

Master These 5 Practices from the Stage and Change Your Audience Forever

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There are many moving parts when it comes to speaking in front of an audience. Sure, there’s the coordination, the subject matter, the technology, etc., but what about the hidden things that only the speaker and the meeting organizer know about. For example, what goes into the speaker’s preparation? How precise are their presentation practices and techniques when they take the stage? In other words, what’s behind the veil? 
Well, let me share 5 stage practices that I created and continue to use that are prepared long before the presentation is even booked or the meeting is even organized. Take them and use them for your own and witness the difference it makes for your audience impact and ultimately their “call to action” retention. 

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The Position

Do your homework and scope out the stage in advance. Now as you are introduced, stride with an even gait to the stage or speaking area. Once there move with confidence to the middle. As you become comfortable, move to the left side of the stage, not too fast, but clearly engaging that side of the room. Now, move all the way to the right portion of the stage. As you feel comfortable, you should now gradually move back to the middle. At each phase you will engage the shoulder width stance (or hero pose) and repeat as necessary.

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The Promise

As you convey verbally what you are going to share, clasp your hands as though you’re getting ready to pray and point at the same time to convey agreement and humility. It creates a tacit agreement between you and the audience concerning what you are agreeing to deliver.

The Poise

Mentioned earlier under “position”, engage the hero pose at each phase of your positioning on stage and while conveying your key points. This affirms your credibility and demonstrates a firm grasp on timing which keeps the audience engaged and interested.

The Pause

Do not underestimate this technique. The “pregnant pause” conveys intent, power and importance. I use the term “pregnant” because the audience knows something is coming after the pause and eagerly anticipate what you will deliver. Use it wisely and not too often, in fact you should only use it 1-3 times during a speech depending on the length.

The Promotion

It’s time for the Call to Action! Remember, this is why you are there. It is never about you, it’s about what the audience came to get…period. This is when you will stand in the middle of the stage and convey with minimal, but deliberate hand gestures, a strong stance (Hero) combined with pointing (at no one in particular) out into the audience to remind them of why they are there.
The audience needs to “feel” why it’s so important for them to get this one piece of the puzzle you have been building up to this entire time. Therefore, lean forward into it and share verbally, “If you don’t hear anything or remember anything else I have shared today get this…” now share the call to action.

Point of Clarity Quote:

Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.”

-Maxwell Maltz

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