Your word choice and what you say set up an Auditory Rhythm for your audiences to follow when you speak. Don’t let them settle into it. You want to make your Auditory Rhythm unpredictable – yell, smack your hands, whisper- anything to avoid what I call, “Listener Lull”.
The talk you are delivering also shows what I call, “Visual Rhythm”. Your body language, your movement around the stage, and your facial expressions provide the Visual Rhythm. This, too, needs to be unpredictable. Think mesmerizing! Step out of the ordinary. I sometimes pull a live lobster out of a box to make a point! Bashful about the odd, unusual, or funky does not make you memorable.
Don’t hide behind, “Death by Lectern”. Let the audience see and sense ALL of you.
Your Visual Rhythm should augment your Auditory Rhythm. It helps your listeners understand your message more quickly. It aids them in reaching that ever-important “retainability” you want. We’ve all seen the speaker with a great message, beautiful language, but zero Visual Rhythm. It doesn’t take us long to fall asleep.
On a stage, your Visual Rhythm needs to go bigger, broader, more sweeping than when you present at a conference table. It cries for greater physical reach toward the audience to make each member feel included. Your movements can do that faster than your words alone.
I heard someone say that your gestures are like “mini punctuation marks”. You can’t read a story without them. Your audience can’t understand your message as well without your Visual Rhythm.
Everything your body does on the stage or at the front of the room is as important, or more so, than the words you say. The viewers will remember what they SAW before they will remember what you say.
Practice and More VR Practice
Practice your Visual Rhythm as much as you practice your words. Video yourself. If you don’t like what you see, CTRL ALT DEL yourself and start over. Your audience will thank you.
They will hear your message more deeply, making it easier to apply to their lives. Isn’t that what every speaker wants?!