Shareable listeners! We’re bringing you another week packed with new episodes, but this time they’re all about public speaking.
Some of us embrace it, many of us fear it, and Jeff and Caroline set out to conquer it with three deep dive episodes with public speakers sharing their advice on the subject and bunch of other great stuff.
Our first guest is Aaron Beverly!
By day Aaron is an established banker working as a project manager at J.P. Morgan’s Cross Line of Business department.
And by night, he’s a paid public speaker and 2nd place winner in the Toastmasters International World Championship of public speaking.
In this episode, Aaron discusses his method of preparing for a big speech, and shares his experience overcoming his own shyness on stage. This episode is great for anyone looking to improve their public speaking skills. And let’s face it that includes most of us. Enjoy!
- Running time: 55:45
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(14:03) – What are some mistakes that people make with public speaking?
The biggest mistake a lot of people make is that they don’t know who they’re speaking to. Before Aaron comes up with a concept, he tries to think about three letters; KYA (Know Your Audience). You have to know who you’re talking to so you can craft your message to fit them.
(16:04) – What are some steps you take to get to know your audience? How do you go about getting yourself in that mindset to know what you’re going to say to that audience?
The short answer is, ask. He’ll ask what are some things they like to hear about, then utilize your network to get the answers that you need. Just ask, that’s how you can learn more about your audience.
(18:32) – What’s your perspective on stories, and how do you put together your stories for your talks?
Storytelling is something that’s critical; if you can tell a good story, the world is your oyster. If you can tell a good story you can be a great salesperson, the president; there are many different avenues that are open to you if you’re a good storyteller. The key to a story is if its relatable to your audience.
(25:20) – How much of the skill that you bring to this is natural versus worked on?
All of it was totally unnatural to Aaron. One of the approaches he takes to storytelling is he’ll take different stories to go through. He’ll think of a general concept and find the relatable point here. He just takes general ideas and puts them to the side until he can start developing them more.
(30:34) – What’s your process start out like?
For Aaron, having a story file is really valuable because it gives you a lot of ideas. First though, you have to know your audience, who you are speaking to. Aaron asks himself, “What do I want my audience to do, think, or know by the end?” Then he challenges himself to answer this question in ten words or less, then five words or less, then one word…this helps you find your focus.
After that, he maps out the emotions that he wants you to feel throughout not just at the end. As you use humor, it’s a great way to build a relationship with your audience. He also likes to use a concept called, “emotional variety” If he has you at the same emotion throughout then he’s probably not doing a very good job. A variety of emotions are important for a strong presentation. Then, he starts writing out his first draft.
(36:26) – You had mentioned motion variety, so is that more of a subtle change or are you looking for a sharp contrast? Or mix it up with both?
He generally does it gradually, the reason for that is that he doesn’t want to shock my audience, because then you might lose them. There’s different ways to do this like with the tone of your voice.
(38:35) – So then you write your first draft from it, tell us what happens from there.
When he writes his first draft, he just puts out all my ideas. If you don’t like to type or write there’s apps where you can speak and it’ll write out what you want. The key with the draft is that you have to know it won’t be a masterpiece. After he writes the draft, he’ll read out the script and record himself. This is really key because then you have to listen to the recording.
After that, you repeat. You repeat the writing process; edit what you hear. Then he reads it again, records it again, and listens to it again. And he does this until he has a version that’s good enough for an audience, which is what he takes to a live studio audience.
CONNECT WITH AARON
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CONNECT WITH CAROLINE
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Caroline, our Producer.
Thanks for everything you do to make this show happen.
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Dungeons and Dragons.
It’s fun, alright? They got me.