There's nothing worse than a keynote presentation being delivered with little or no sense of personality. It's hard to stay focused on the content, when the delivery is dry, scripted and lacks any enthusiasm.
That said, no one delivers a keynote with the goal of being boring. No one wants an audience to feel disconnected and bored. So what's the cause of this apathetic style of presenting.
We'll come to that in just a moment.
On the flip side though - We feel drawn in by comedians because the premise of comedy is so entwined with who they are as a character, either as themselves or a stage persona. We are hooked from the moment they walk on stage to the moment they leave. Why? Because they have stage presence, because their characteristics are entertaining to observe as an audience.
For many performers, their stage persona has gone through years of tweaking and refining. Some like to give their stage persona a name - I've known performers describe themselves as, a 'Loveable bully', or a 'Ball of energy', or when considering my own, 'A wide-eyed enthusiast'.
Many would describe their on stage personality as an exaggerated version of themselves.
So how can you bring more personality to the stage, next time you take the microphone and address an audience. This is transferrable to any context. Whether it's a theatre or a boardroom, a school or a church, an audience that wants to be entertained or an audience that asks to be informed.
What characteristics define you? Are you big, bold and bubbly, or are you slick, professional, perhaps direct. How would your friends describe you when in a social context. How would colleagues describe you in a professional context.
Your natural characteristics should be considered carefully and used as a baseline for how you present upfront.
Are you a natural teacher, a storyteller or great with snappy, sound-byte catchphrases that inspire and encourage people to come on board with you.
Whatever style works for you, begin to think what that would look like if you were to improve it.
In a previous blog this week, I talked about the energy with which you take the stage in your first 30 seconds. This is essential, regardless of your characteristics and/or stage persona. However, you should then consider what that looks like for the remainder of the presentation. You will want to try and vary the tone a little throughout your keynote, to avoid exhausting or boring the audience.
Take your thoughts from the points above and begin to think about how you might exaggerate them by 2%. How does that affect your delivery? The way you stand, move and talk? By all means, don't go overboard with this, but begin to pull these reflections into your presentation and you'll soon begin to see your style packed full of your personality.
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