Monday, February 27, 2012

Speaking Lesson from Meryl Streep: Take a Breath

So often Oscars acceptance speeches are a torrent of thank you's - the speaker tries to get everything in before the music cuts in.

While understandable at the Oscars, this is a mistake speakers often make. We try to fill up the space with as many words as possible - and leave no room for what is one of the speaker's most powerful tools -  silence.

What made Meryl Streep's acceptance speech so refreshing - and so elegant - was her pacing. She breathed. She spoke slowly. She actually left time for the audience to absorb her words.
Granted, she went over her time limit. But if all of us could give that kind of speech in under three minutes, we'd be doing pretty well!

From the Green Room: Say less. Say it slower. Give yourself time to pause - and the audience time to process your words.


Anonymous said...

Great post, great blog. Learning so much, and love the short format. Keep it coming!

mgmvoice said...

This truly was an elegant speech. She may have known exactly what she was going to say, but she didn't recite it, she felt it word by word. You could see the effect in the audience's faces. Brilliant! Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah Gershman said...

Thank you both for stopping by and for your kind comments!