Monday, October 3, 2011

Harness the Power of Stillness

Last week in Vegas, Jock Elliott earned the title of 2011 World Champion of Public Speaking in a contest sponsored by Toastmasters International. Here is his remarkable speech, "Just So Lucky":

This week's New York Times Magazine featured a piece about the contest in which Elliott reflects on what made him stand out:

By the time it was Elliott’s turn, he felt good about his odds of winning... While the other speeches relied on props and histrionics, Elliott’s was much quieter. “I was very conscious that the style of it, the physical stillness and vocal quietness, would be at variance with the others, and that would either work for or against me.”

From the Green Room: So often, speakers try to get attention by moving around a lot and by making as much noise as possible.

Instead, try to harness the power of stillness when you speak. Pause. Lower your voice when you make your most important point (of course, audibly!) Keep your head still.

It is in the stillness that people are fully able to absorb the impact of your message.

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