Monday, April 20, 2009

Rachael Ray and the Art of Public Speaking

From this week's NYT Sunday Styles:

Jonathan Rosen, the agent to Food Network stars, describes how he knew that Rachael Ray would succeed:

"I told her I felt like her personality translated directly across the screen and made you feel like she was in the room with you."

Truthfully, when I first watched 30 Minute Meals, I said to myself, "What makes her special? I could totally do that!"

And now I realize that this is her secret weapon.

Rachael Ray's slip-ups, cutesy expressions, and goofy laugh make her seem not like some celebrity chef, but like your fun (and albeit sometimes annoying) girlfriend. She's not giving a cooking demo - she's chatting it up with her buddies.

We can all learn from this.

The next time you get up in front of an audience, try saying to yourself, "I am not giving a speech. I am having a conversation with people I care about." You don't have to be best friends - or even know the people in order to find sometime about them you care about - even if it's just, "I care that they understand what I am trying to say because it will be helpful to them."

You will connect with an audience, when you speak to them as if you are having a one-on-one conversation with each person in the room.

From the Green Room: To master the art of public speaking, don't just give a speech to an audience. Have a conversation with the audience.


Anonymous said...

Though I might omit your generous qualifying adverb in the phrase "sometimes annoying," I agree that Rachel Ray does have that one-on-one conversational connection with the audience which, I suppose, is why I occasionally find myself watching her cook even as I want to slap her silly each time she unleashes that gawky giggle.

jean r said...

Yes, yes, yes, I agree that Rachael Ray does and says it quick educating and informing but Sarah, you really tell it like it is in few words, and lot of good sense. No annoying made up words from you, just straight forward conversational tone, a goal for all of us. Many thanks!

Sarah Gershman said...

I do wonder if she wouldn't have become so famous without the annoying quirks.