Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Giving a Speech

What are the key elements of a memorable and engaging talk?

Perhaps you have heard common things like:

  • giving high-value content
  • well-organized material
  • storytelling
  • engaging body language
  • vocal variety

But what about emotional variety? 

Does your talk have a balance of engaging emotional variety? Your talk is like a work of art.  Are you painting with a pallet of many colors, or just black and white?

According to Kendal Haven and his team of researchers, who were commissioned by the Department of Defense to study the science of storytelling on the brain, there is a part of the brain that lights up when we hear stories.  They called it the "Neural Story Net".  Haven and his team found that the best speakers tell stories that light up this part of the brain.  And that their stories have 4 special components:

1. Engagement- the audience easily dedicated mental focus because the story had an emotional component that held their attention.

2. Transportation- the audience transported themselves into the story.

3. Relevance-the audience easily answered the question "What does this mean to me?"

4. Influence- a shift occurred in the audience's beliefs and/or attitudes in a way that made them feel inspired and motivated to take an action.

Today we are focusing on #1 Engagement and how to avoid these 3 pitfalls

I'm sure you have heard those talks that lack engaging emotional variety.  Do these 3 scenarios sound familiar?

1. The talk gives too much content and not enough emotion,  soon you find yourself daydreaming and can't recall what was just said.

2.  It has too much emotion. It is a deep trench of heavy emotion (such as sorrow or fear) and you feel like you need to come up for air.

3. It has too much of the same emotion, also known as monotone. Not enough emotional variety becomes predictable and boring.

I know that I have made all 3 mistakes.  But let's make sure it doesn't happen to you.

Practice the Emotional Variety Technique-It fixes all 3 problems

Practice your speech in a variety of emotional states.  I had the opportunity to be coached by one of my favorite speaking coaches (and former football player who played safety for the Houston Oilers) Bo Eason.  One of the most playful and useful exercises he taught was to practice the speech as if we were talking in these 3 emotional states:

1. Playful and simple - as if you are talking to a group of children.

2.  Overly gregarious - as if you are VERY VERY Italian (like my family).

3. Romantic - as if you are were whispering on a romantic first date.

When we speak with a variety of engaging emotions we help our audience remember our content because we have their attention.


We have all heard that we must practice our speech out loud.  But the question is HOW are we practicing it?

1. Practice your talk in the emotional states above and see how it spices things up.

2. Then, come up with your own emotional states to practice.

Your talk is like a work of art.  Are you painting just black and white, or with a pallet of many colors?  Practice The Emotional Variety Technique to light up the "Neural Story Net",  avoid boring the audience,  and you will be more memorable and engaging. 

For more tips and techniques on Charismatic Communication, Body Language, and Hypnotic Presentation Skills visit my website at www.holleymignosi.com

Also, join my FREE Facebook Group "Shine on Stage" to get the latest tips, from crafting your Signature Story to having a Magnetic Presence on Stage. 




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