October 3, 2012

Speak like Churchill and Stand like Lincoln by James C. Humes

Speak like Churchill and Stand like Lincoln by James C. Humes
21 powerful secrets of History’s greatest speakers.

Every time you open your mouth your capability as a leader is judged.

1. Power pause
I stand in pause where I shall first begin - William Shakespeare.

Try staging the strategic delay the next time you deliver a sales pitch or answer a query put to you during a conversation. Napoleon knew the keys to charisma and the power pause method was his key to magnifying his message. Before you answer, take time to look directly into the eyes of your questioner and hold his or her gaze a beat.

Stand Stare and command your audience

Before you speak, try to lock your eyes on each of your soon-to-be listeners. Force yourself before you begin your presentation to say in your own mind each word of your opening sentence. Every word you wait will strengthen the impact of your opening words. Stand, stare and command your audience and they will bend your ears to listen.

2. Power opener.
The prime time of any talk or presentation you give is during your opening words. Everyone in the audience is waiting to see what you look and sound like. Do not waste that psychological edge with trite blather. Go for the power opener. Begin with a bang. Prepare it, polish it and practice it.A power opener is an attention grabber and an audience awakener.

3. Power presence - “Clothes, which as it seems, makes thee” - William Shakespeare.
Clothes make a statement. The selection of garment should not be causal or by chance. Adapt a style that suits you and that people will identify with you.

Style for men: Shoe - dark brown or black cordovan. Two piece rather than three piece suit in gray or navy blue is appropriate. ‘The most underused and understates piece os clothing: the classic white shirt”. Straight collar with buttoned cuffs is hard to beat. A blue button-down Oxford is always appropriate

4. Power point - “Speak plain and to the purpose” - William Shakespeare
What is it you want the audience to do when the speech is over? what is the bottom line - in one sentence. Plan your speech like a Symphony.

5 Power Brief.
Less is more in an adage that has been identified with architecture and fashion. Terse is better than tedious. Shorter is sweeter. Short is sharper and brief is better.

Tell a story, not a speech.
The exceptional is often the unexpected -

6 . Power quote.
    First rule with quotes. Be comfortable with the quote;
Second rule: prominent and pithy (the name should be recognizable and the quotation brief)
Good communication spells the difference between a leader and a manager. Speech is theater - so dig up one apt quotation and frame it with props.

Dramatize and emphasize your quote to make it a power quote.
Produce present perform your quote.Before your next talk, look over your file and pick the most apt quotation for your talk or presentation, one that will support your data and reinforce your facts.

7. Power Stat - “A statistic should tell a story” - Margaret Thatcher.
Some statistics are cited precisely and up front to obtain immediate credibility; otherwise are frames more roundly to be remembered by the audience. Too many numbers numb an audience. Pick the strongest and the finest data (statistics).  round your statistics (such a way that it is easy to understand or correlate (Sweden is five times bigger than Connecticut than saying Sweden is 150 K sq. miles)
Relay your statistics to your listeners and compare to the familiar.
Audience remember odd number than even numbers.
Figures lie and liars figure

8. Power outage. “Too many slides make audience sleepy” = Richard Nixon.

Slides are no substitute for speaking.
A prop, not a crutch. If you aim to be a leader, let your slides be a prop , not a crutch.
Reinforcement rather than replacement. Visual aids should be used to reinforce, not replace the speech.
Keep slides simple.Don’t let your slides become your security blanket.
Slides: an appetizer, not the mean

9. Power wit. Don’t tack on jokes. The difference between a joke and a humor is the difference between a pornography picture and a love scene in a good move. Aristotle once wrote. “The essence of humor is surprise”. As Shakespeare observed, “It makes a speech amble easily”. Humor is a change of pace that refreshes.

Great speakers often use humor to lighten the mood of their audience.
The three Rs of humor. - Make it realistic, make it relevant and don't read it

Make stories realistic and relevant Leaders don’t begin speeches with stale old jokes; but they do spice up their talks with humorous anecdotes.

Adopt and Anecdote: The secret to presenting speech humor is to weave it in as part of your own experience.
Humor and poetic license:

Illustrating with a Parable: Benjamin Franklin also stressed the importance of investment with a story.

10. Power Parable.
Parables provide picture of abstractions
Don’t change horses in the middle of the stream
Turn concepts into concrete
Arsenal of anecdotes
Storehouse of stories
When you share a bit of yourself with others, you win their trust and affection and they will more readily buy into what you are promoting.

11. Power gesture.-
A master of body language and bonding through body language. Leadership sometimes demands more than verbiage. It requires visible acts. Ghose and use a power gesture.

12. Power Reading.
Memorize then conventionalize
Don’t speak while looking down
See-Stop - say technique: Pause are what make a speech sound conversational. When you pause, you sound sincere, as if you are trying to come up with the right words to express your thoughts.

13. Power poetry.
Churchill would argue that an article should be written for the eye and speech for the ear.
Transform a speech into poetry. If speech is prose, the phrase-by-phrase technique can transform it into poetry.
Make your layout luminous - for any talk, little or long, take your types speech and space it out in bite-size phrases.  Following are some of the rules that help to do so:

When you come to a comma, cut the line off
If your subject is followed by its predicate, don’t separate them
When a preposition is succeed by its object, don’t dissect the two
Never end a line with a or the
When you see a period, make sure to call a halt.
Churchill believed that in remarks directed to the ear, a semicolon was verboten, whereas a dash fit the rhythm of a speech of talk.

Let the layout leap out at you. The layout lets the key words and phrases leap out at you. You don’t have to be glued to the text. Secret of changing the old typed article layout into a format approaching that of verse. Students tell me that this way of laying out a talk into phrases is the most useful advice they have taken away from my class. Change your format to Churchill’s. Lay out your lines like a leader and you will sound like one.

14. Power line.
There Is a secret to coining a power line. And I doubt it will surprise you that Churchill reportedly came up with a formula that’s easily remembered by its acronym: C-R-E-A-M (Contrast-Rhyme-Echo-Alliteration-Metaphor)

Opposites attract (only answer to defeat is victory)

Versifier as well as speechwriters often turn to the Rhyming Nine - AME, AIR, ITE, AKE, OW, AY, ATE, EEM, AIN - for coining zinger lines.

AME - aim, blame, claim, fame, name, shame, same, game, reclaim, proclaim, flame

AIR - bear, care, dare, fare, fair, share, aware, swear, pare, declare, where, scare, prayer, beware

ITE - bite, cite, fight, fright, height, light, night, right, quite, sight, write, delight, foresight, ignite, tonight

AKE - ache, break, fake, sake, shake, stake, take, make, awake, undertake, mistake

OW - dough, flow, foe, glow, go, grow, know, low, show, slow, throw, ago

AY - day, pray, stay, say, way, pay, play, away, stray, they, array, display

ATE - ate, date, fate, great, late, state, slate, straight, wait, weight, abate, donate

EEM - beam, cream, dream, gleam, steam, scheme, seem, stream, team, theme, esteem, redeem

AIN - gain, pain, reign, stain, strain, wane, vein, attain, retain, regain, explain, remain, sustain,

The echo effect :
Echo is repetition of a word or a phrase. (only thing we have to fear is fear itself).

1. repeat the word in the second phrase that you used in the first.
2. Repeat the noun
3. Repeat the verb

Alliterate and activate:
Consonants are better for alliteration than vowels and the best of the consonant is P. Churchill once framed his secret of speaking in a series of P.
Vary the pose and vary the pitch and don’t forget the pause.

Metaphor (Analogies)
Aristotle once wrote: ‘the highest line of the poet is sometimes the hardest to image.

15 Power question
The question as a quip.
Know the answer - in cross-examination of witness, an iron-clad rule is to never ask a question if you are not sure of the answer.
Using series of questions:

Rhetorical power:
Sometimes rhetorical questions - those to which no answer is expected - are posed as a speech device to motivate listeners to get involved.

16. Power word and power phrases
Churchill would introduce compelling or unusual words with a deliberate stuttering pause.

17. Power active
Passive is pale and verbal constructions employing the passive voice too often suggest the passive state of mind

Avoid Whabby words  - such as Were, Have/Had, Are/is, Be/Been. These are potential overuse of pause.

Passive is for ‘cover-your-ass types and the active choice is for the take-charge leaders.
The active voice provides force to your speech, whereas the passive voice sounds spineless and deadens your delivery.

18. Power dollar.
We can describe the Franklin formula for fund-raising with these four words that begin with D:
Defiance, Design, Donation and duel.

Defiance is a strong word - it suggests presumptuous, audacious, or even cocky attitude.
Design - paint a picture
Donation - faint hear wins not
Dual: high noon at the OK.Corral.
Don’t think a letter will take the place of a personal visit.

19. Power Button.
power button says to the audience - ready-set-listen to set them up for the power line that follows.
Light up a line like a neon sign
Switch on the ignition with a power button.
One power button per speech.

20. Power closer.”Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending”- H.W. Longfellow.
A strong last impression
Scripture or Shakespeare
For a strong ending, said Churchill, you have to appeal to the emotions - pride, hope, love and occasionally, fear.

Apply their anecdotes and draw from history.
Create a Cathedral (story /history)
Pick proven closer.
Plant a flower
Crisp closer - electric endings

21. Power Audacity.
Surprise the audience - communication is more than just the words you express. it is also the impression you make.
Leader’s don’t always follow the script. They make moves that live in the memories of their listeners.
Stage your scene - speakers can’t gain podium power by doing the predictable and prosaic. One can gain a great deal by taking the risk of doing the unexpected. An unconditional display of courage can send an unusually strong message.

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