The Super Bowl. The big game. The big moment. The big stage.
Players dream of playing in this vaunted game, and when they do careers are made or broken by how they perform.
It’s no different in communication.
Communicators inevitably find themselves on the big stage from time to time. Sometimes it’s defined by the size of the audience, but sometimes it’s defined exclusively by the importance of the message. Regardless of whether you’re speaking to a stadium or breaking critical news in a personalized conversation, there are career-defining, Super Bowl-like moments in public speaking.
To ensure you’re ready for your moment in the spotlight, keep in mind these 4 tips:
1. Rise to the occasion.
No one ever won an MVP by playing it safe and avoiding attention. If you have to speak in a critical moment, embrace the responsibility and make an impression. The quality of your performance starts with your mental approach, and if you see speaking as an opportunity to seize, you’ll be off to a good start.
2. Go big!
Don’t shrink from the spotlight by being small and understated. Critical messages, especially those in front of larger groups, need the power and confidence of a big presence. Create a winning persona with a generally louder volume, a generally bolder tone, and generally bigger gestures and body movements (“generally,” because you still need quieter, more contemplative moments from time to time to give your overall presentation a winning ‘topography’). And as we always advise, ditch the podium, don't present to a multi-person audience sitting down, and command the room by moving about.
3. Make it personal.
From Rob Gronkowski to Brett Farve and Shannon Sharpe, some of the most remembered NFL players were known as much for their personality and overt love for the game, as their play-making ability. Combine personality with physical talent and it’s a world-class combination. It’s no different in communication. Speakers willing to get personal, to show youthful enthusiasm, express heartfelt disappointment, and be vulnerable command the greatest attention and admiration. They are genuine. They are real. And their messages resonate far longer than the perfect message delivered perfectly by an emotionless, human automaton. So take your lead from Rod Tidwell of Jerry Maguire fame and show your human-side.
4. Define and execute a game plan.
The best presentations, and even one-on-one professional conversations, don’t happen by accident. Put in the time to select your exact talking points, organize your content into discernible categories, and vividly illustrate your ideas with stories and anecdotes that paint an undeniable mental picture. Building a communication playbook for your specific moment is critical if you hope to execute.
When is your communication Super Bowl? What are you doing to capitalize on your big moment? At The Professional Communicators, we hope you use these tips to punch your ticket into the speakers’ hall of fame!