Thursday, February 12, 2009

Freddy Mercury and the Art of Public Speaking

The key to a great presentation is making each person in the audience actually believe that you are talking directly to him or her.

Take a look at this 1985 video of Freddy Mercury singing Radio Ga-Ga at the Live- Aid concert. It is an immensely powerful performance. You can feel the energy and connection between Mercury and the audience at Wembley Stadium.

Let’s unpack some of what makes his performance so brilliant and so compelling:

  1. Presence. Freddy Mercury is 100% in the song and with the audience.
  1. Bold movements. He walks with confidence and direction. You can tell that knows exactly where he is going and why.
  1. Open body. Notice how he holds his arms out. His body is completely open to the audience.
  1. Sustained Eye Contact. Mercury looks out into different sections of the audience as though he were focusing on just one individual face. The result? Each person in the section (and even those of us watching on our computers) feels that he is looking only at him or her.
  1. Generosity of Spirit. His eyes, his body, his voice all feel like a gift to the audience.

From the Green Room: Having presence is the difference between making an audience of 1 feel overlooked and ignored and an audience of 100,000 feel seen and heard.

1 comment:

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