I recently attended a keynote of the Swiss-born British philosopher Alain de Botton and the British-American motivational speaker Simon Sinek, both events took place in Amsterdam. These two speakers had one major thing in common: they both spoke without visuals to back their story and to rely on. And no, not a 20 minute TED talk but a one hour keynote. I had almost given up the idea it was done in keynote-land.
To me - being an actress in theatre- it was a great relief noticing that an audience can still be inspired, fascinated by the simplicity of a human talking.
But what looks simple isn’t that simple at all.
Most speakers are not able to deliver an excellent performance without a powerpoint or any kind of visual. Reason? It takes a lot more work studying the material, practicing the delivery, tapping into talent than most professional speakers are willing to invest.
In my work as a speaking mentor and founder of Thought Leaders Academy, my speakers mostly practice without a powerpoint. In my philosophy, they must be able to deliver their message without visuals.
So, let's analyse what makes De Botton en Sinek succeed in their performance and how you can get there too.
“The master speaker is he or she who can fascinate an audience with AND without visuals and props. ”
What do you need to be
a non-ppt speaker?
Frankly, you need the same qualities as when you speak with ppt, but they must be at 100%. You are no longer able to hide behind your visuals, all eyes will be on you and not on that moving image you use to distract and misguide your audience.
Talking without a ppt, means YOU need to work harder to gain the trust and approval of your audience. That’s it. So stop being a lazy speaker, stop using your audience as an excuse. (and use visuals for what they are really intended to for)
The master speaker is he or she who is able to fascinate an audience with AND without ppt and props.
Rehearse In Your Dreams #1
Keep Your Cool #2
An audience doesn't intimidate you. You can be nervous, have some stress, but that will not make you hesitant. You will not get a trembling voice, and your body is in control. You are in control of your inner critic.
Keeping your cool during speaking, means you've worked on your emotional intelligence level.
Love Rhetorics #3
- You are a verbally strong speaker, you take care of the language you use. You know the power of storytelling, of style figures and well-formed sentences. You have studied rhetorics and you LOVE it.
Make people fall in love...with your voice #4
You have a great voice, almost radio proof. Be honest with yourself, if nobody has given you compliments on your voice in your life, or people told you they loved LISTENING to you, think twice. Your audience needs to fall in love with your voice.
A good voice comes with good pronunciation and an understandable accent. If your native dialect is too dominant, people will understand you less and lose interest. Learn how to use a microphone at your benefit. Seduce your audience with your sound.
Move That Body #5
Ok, you might think: 'You are telling me nothing I do not already know'.
And you're right.
But are you performing at 100%?
Next time when you're on stage, don't use your ppt. Perform. See what happens. You will discover there is still a lot of work to be done.
If you are a professional speaker, it is your job to spend hard work and a significant amount of your time practicing, prepping and becoming better in your craft as a speaker.
Having a great story is absolutely necessary, but if you suck at telling it, 'you ain't worth the dime' nor the audience.
Break a Leg!