NLP training offers many tools for public speaking, as most communication and one-on-one techniques can be used inside a presentation. One of my students was invited to do a TedX talk, and asked me to write down a few tips. As answering questions of former students always happens by blog or video, here we go…
Tip 1: 2 Minute Stories
A great way to start a speech is with 1) a personal story, 2) an article you have read, 3) a statistic, 4) a story around a quote. It is important you tell the story in a way that evokes an experience. To make it sensory based in a way that the listener sees, hears, feels or even smell and taste the story. Associate them inside the story, as if it is happening to them. In NLP we call this association, and it makes the difference in public speaking in a huge way.
Tip 2: Using Sensory Based Words
In NLP we call these predicates. These are words specifically chosen to evoke a sensory based experience. Based on that sense.
Auditory: hear, listen, melody, harmony, rings a bell, sounds like.
Visual: look, see, colorful, focus, bright, clear.
Kinesthetic: feel, rough, soft, smooth.
Olfactory/Gustatory (smell and taste:) stinks, sweet, aroma, spicy
Tip 3: Stage Anchoring
Anchoring is creating a stimulus-response reaction. This is what the psychologist Pavlov did. He would feed the dogs food, and ring a bell at the same time. At some point the dogs were conditioned, he would ring a bell and the dogs would salivate. You can anchor the stage, by telling all the negative points on one part of the stage, and the positive on another. Once you ask for agreement from the audience, you make sure you stand on the positive side. You can also do this for the story telling part of the stage, versus the important points. Or the place where people are allowed to ask questions. With a camera (like in TedX) I would not walk around too much, use a specific body posture perhaps.
Tip 4: Gesturing Positive and Negatives
When you talk about something negative point away from yourself and the audience, when you talk about something positive point to yourself or the audience.
Tip 5: Gesturing to Engage
When you are talking, act out what you are saying with your hands. This works on a deep unconscious level, and engages the visual audience member.
Tip 6: Preferences for Gathering Data
There are visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. Make sure you present your presentation not just through speech. But show pictures or objects. And allow people to touch or do an activity.
Tip 7: Focus on the “How” Your Speech Will Inspire, and not in “What” You are Going to Say.
Many presenters or teachers in public speaking focus more on the content they wish to convey. Rather than how a person takes in information. To build your speech around more so the how of learning, instead of the what, will improve it.
Tip 8: Using Words that Create Majority Agreement
Vague words is something more easier for an audience to say yes to. For instance we can all agree that we want to improve “education”, we want to have “excitement”, “success”, and “motivation.” Where you talk about transport, versus a specific model car. These are words where it is unknown who is doing it, and how it is being done. It is a verb (action), turned into a noun (something non-active.) You can not hold it inside your hands. In the NLP Milton Model we call this a nominalization. A very useful tool in public speaking.
Tip 9: Using Specifics
Do you want to use vague words only? No. As they are so vague and ambiguous, that it actually puts the brain into a trance. It goes unconscious. You need your audience also consciously be present, and make the unconscious conscious. So some specifics are wise. Who specifically? What specifically? How specifically? Are good questions to ask yourself. Build those inside the presentation. These are concepts from a tool called the NLP meta model. It makes things more conscious.
Tip 10: Everything is a State Elicitation
In communication we are always evoking a feeling. It is important to be conscious as to what you want this feeling to be. A good emotional state to start with in any public speaking is “curiosity.” As it engages the person from the get go to learn more. You can do this by presenting content in a way that it gives a feeling, but also adopting your tonality, the volume of your voice, your body language, facial expression.
I literally could write 100s of tips for using NLP in public speaking, in fact I created a whole course around it to turn NLP Practitioners and NLP Master Practitioners into creating a better presentation.If you never trained in NLP, and wonder if it is good for public speaking….100% yes!