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How emphasis changes everything

I saw this video a few years back and it's entertaining in itself, yet it reveals how emphasis has influence more than we realise.

It's great to see famous people enjoying themselves, and the point this sketch raises is the amazing amount of tone, phonics, emphasis, pause and gesture a human can put into anything spoken.

I know from haven given over 2,000 sermons, speeches and broadcasts over the last 25 years how important it is to get the right inflection in what you are saying. A pause is often worth more than a dozen words. The right emphasis on a word or sentence can set the whole monologue alight.

If you do any kind of public speaking here are some tips for making a great message.

1) . Do your research. Little known information about the topic always makes the delivery interesting and rich. Typically a 30 minute message can take 7-8 hours to prepare.

2). Believe in the message. You can't deliver something passionately unless you believe in what you are saying.

3). Find the Hook. What is the common thing in your message which your audience can relate to and become involved in ?

4). Give notice of your intent. I often outline in the first minute what I'm planning to go through and where I'm planning to end up, so there may still be surprises but no shocks.

5). End well. Always framing your delivery in the last five minutes helps, that can lead onto a better ending, opportunity for further dialogue.

Of course other tips, pace yourself, don't eat much sugar before hand which causes phlegm. A Lemon and Ginger Tea works well. The above five points work well in person, but the list is very different if you are doing Radio or TV. In TV land, if you don't hint at your final outcome in the first 30 seconds 80% of your audience is gone before you make your point.

Most people go for the big entry or the big exit. However the better remembered deliveries are when the speaker pauses to remind people two or three times through.

TED the famous speech delivery platform, also has some amazing insights in what makes a jaw dropping delivery - google it.

All in all, public speaking is an art, a joy, an honour. The more we can realise we are serving and shaping peoples lives the more accountable we will be to that responsibility.


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