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Now…We’re having a moment.

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By Daniel Kingsley

A Moment Smaller

 

Be happy for this moment.  This moment is your life.

Omar Khyyam

 

If you have the opportunity to play this game of life you need to appreciate every moment. A lot of people don’t appreciate the moment until it’s passed.

Kanye West

 

Life is not measured by time. It is measured by moments.

Amin Houman

 

 

There are 3 “Ms” in Public Speaking.  Message, Mood and Moments.

There is something you want to convey to your audience, there’s the way that you’d like them to feel, during and after your talk, and if you’re lucky…you’ll have a moment together.

I’ve written about the message and the mood previously.  Today, I’d like to talk about the moments.

In a public speaking event, a moment is a point in time where the audience and the speaker pause together.  Something significant has just happened.  You know it and they know it.  There is a palpable silence.  There is a sense in everyone that something has shifted, even if no-one can fully put it into words.

Most presentations or public speaking events don’t include moments like these, but those that do are the ones that have the potential to change people’s minds, to change the way that people see the world…or at least one little corner of it.

If you are seeking to change your audience’s mind about something, and make your talk truly memorable, your talk needs to build up to one of these moments.

 

An example of a moment

One of the easiest moments for me to explain to you, that I have witnessed recently didn’t occur in a public speaking context at all. It occurred on a reality television show about dancing.  Rose Ayling-Ellis was the first deaf contestant to appear on the British TV Show Strictly Come Dancing.  She was the eventual winner of that year’s contest, even though she never heard a note of the music.  She felt the music in her body and was able to dance with beautiful joy and expression despite what most of us would view as a disability.

One of the highlights of the series was a Couples Choice dance where in the middle of the 90 second dance the music stopped for about 15 seconds, but Rose continued to dance with her partner.  The studio was eerily silent, yet the dance continued in full flow and with full expression.  It was as if, for that short period of time we had been granted entry into Rose’s world.  Then the music rushed joyously in as the dance continued, as if nothing had happened.  Yet it had.  It was a truly magical experience for me as a viewer, and by all accounts for pretty-much everyone else watching that programme.  This was a moment.

 

How to have a moment

Having a moment isn’t difficult or complicated.  At some level you simply need to choose to do it and to commit.

In order to have a moment, you (usually) need to have something important to say. It needs to be something that you believe your audience really needs to pay attention to.

Say what you really want to say simply, clearly, slowly and deliberately.  Feel the meaning of every word as you say it.  Then pause…

Be with the importance of what you have said, listen to the silence in the room, be in connection with yourself and with your audience.  Purposely let what you’ve said sink in.  Feel how long the pause needs to be as you feel your connection with the audience.  Don’t rush to leave…Then when you’re ready and you sense the audience is ready to move on, move on.

There…you’ve just had a moment.

Having a moment requires presence connection to yourself, your audience and your material simultaneouslyAnd an appreciation of the silence.  It requires the courage to get behind yourself and your message, the courage to stay silent, to be, and to listen.  It is a brave and vulnerable thing to do.  But if you are willing to take that leap into the unknown for a few seconds, it’s not actually that hard.

We are shifting from a position of public speaking being something that we do to an audience to something that we are doing with an audience.

I wish you many such moments.

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If you’d like to explore this and many other transformative principles in person, do check our our Foundation Public Speaking Courses in London, or contact us to discuss arranging a 1-2-1 coaching session.

Daniel Kingsley
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