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Smart Entertainment: How Tricks From Showbiz Can Help You Succeed
While you’re probably already familiar with public speaking, learning how to work the spotlight can do wonders.
Being at the top of your field means you’re often in the limelight: giving speeches, making presentations, organizing events.
But while you’re probably already familiar with the ins and outs of public speaking, learning how to work the spotlight to its full potential can do wonders for your business, said Alan Fox, author of the new book “The Seeker in Forever” and director of StoryFocus Communications, a company that helps executives incorporate aspects of good showmanship into their work.
“[As you] move into higher and higher levels, you have to get out from behind your desk and from behind the e-mail and all the technical stuff, and you’ve got to actually present your ideas,” Fox said. “It becomes important to use all the tools, resources and guiding principles available to you.”
Part of that, Fox said, is learning to consistently deliver your message in a succinct yet charismatic way.
“It leads to a deeper, more emotional connection and to a more productive collaboration among people,” he said. “They are more willing to learn.”
Since the point you need to get across is most important, the first step to becoming a master orator is to fine-tune your message, Fox said.
“You’ve got to be able to get it down to something innovative or that has news value in it,” he said. “Not all messages are equal: Some of them are all very logical and sane and rational — people have said them before. Others are innovative, because they put two things together that other people haven’t put together.”
It is this novel way of thinking and the interesting nugget it produces that will sustain your audience’s interest.
“Breaking things down to a pitch size and in that pitch having something that’s innovative is really, really hard — the good [speakers] bring two opposites together,” Fox said. “‘Man bites dog’ is the ultimate example of that.”
Once you have perfected what you’re going to say, your next goal is to work on how you say it.
Recalling a line from former President Ronald Reagan’s autobiography, “Where’s the Rest of Me,” Fox advises: Know what you look like from every angle.
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