Video presentations and pitches are hugely useful tools nowadays. From investor approaches to CSF start-up contests to crowdfunding campaigns, if you are trying to make something happen, you’re probably going to need, at some point, to talk it up on-camera. But performing on screen can be a very scary prospect, and if you’re not used to talking on camera, it can be really easy to freeze up and undermine the great idea you have to get across. But movie stars make it look easy, don’t they? Well, there are some simple tips we can learn from film and TV performers about how to be more comfortable, assured and engaging on camera.
I am a proud graduate of UCD, so it was really thrilling when I heard that President Bill Clinton was delivering a keynote address on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Not only is Clinton a highly significant, intelligent and thoughtful leader, but he is one of the most memorable and impactful orators of modern times. Combining warmth, self-deprecation and personal attention with a muscular sense of story, meaning and ambition, Clinton’s speaking has long been a key driver in his own campaigns, as well as those of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and many Democratic Party candidates, not to mention the impact of his own charitable endeavours.
In watching the video of his speech that UCD graciously posted on their website, as a presentation coach I was delighted to see President Clinton performing his speech showing so many examples of technique that made the speech engrossing, clear and dynamic.
I was at a major event for start-ups recently, featuring a range of speakers – politicians, broadcasters, millionaire entrepreneurs – talking to over 700 high-potential new companies and important investors. All were outstandingly successful people, clearly hugely smart and savvy, with insightful stories to tell. But I was fairly astonished to find how many times they undermined the insights they were providing and the ideas they were encouraging, by simple flaws in the delivery of their presentations. And this wasn’t just me as a performance professional nit-picking – I found myself noticing how at those moments, they lost the crowd, and had to take large chunks of time to regain their engagement.
While of course it’s valuable when preparing your latest presentation to look at the great speeches for inspiration, and while I certainly recommend listening to JFK and MLK and watching the best of TED to fill your brain with exciting ways to communicate your big ideas, sometimes … you just want to watch some TV. As such, I’ve dug out 10 examples of funny, exhilarating and heart-pumping speeches from movies and TV shows that you can watch as really useful homework … but still eat popcorn while you’re doing it!
The Oscars 2018 had a lot of big, impactful ideas about inclusion, equality and safety from exploitation. Ideas that we need to hear and which can change the world for the better. Not just in movies like Get Out, Ladybird and The Shape of Water, but also in the speeches of introduction, thanks and recognition, shared with millions. But how were the speeches handled this year? Well, here’s five quick thoughts on what I saw.
Red carpet events can seem intimidating – how do I handle all those flashing light bulbs, will I look like a fool, isn’t this really just for Angelina Jolie? But in our modern age, it’s not just movie stars who can end up making an appearance on the red carpet facing the media – gala events can be crucial to raising the profile of your organization’s work or your latest project.