Sally on TEDx stage

283: How to be Memorable On Stage Series – Part 5: MOVEMENT

Hey, Movers!

We are on part five of the How to be Memorable on Stage series. We have talked about the before, stories, the BET (beginnings ending transitions) – and the between.

Our final session today is all about how we show up in our bodies and the movement of our talk.

People think this part is pretty obvious. Most people come to me and they’re like, I’m not as worried about delivery.

Not so fast… cause there’s a lot to tackle here! Ultimately, we’re trying to find that really difficult balance of being intentional without being robotic.

So let’s dive in!

Also – come and join us inside the Emerging Speaker Society where we do the full version of these trainings, and I answer all your questions…

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Inspiration We're trying to find that really difficult balance of being intentional without being robotic.




We are on part five of the how to be memorable onstage series. We have talked about the before, stories, the bet beginnings ending transitions and the between. Our final session today is all about how we show up in our bodies and the movement of our talk.

People think this, part is pretty obvious.

The idea of how we move our bodies is really important, but most people are like, I got that part down, Sally. I’m not so worried about delivery. Most people come to me and they’re like, I’m not as worried about delivery.I’m pretty good at delivery. Well, there’s always some self-awareness that can be helpful, on that. And, and when we are early on in our development, we find ourselves typically in one of two camps.

And I want you to imagine this because we’ve all seen these speakers, the one speaker that doesn’t move like at all. And did you know when you’re on the TEDx stage, they want you to stay on that red dot? It felt very restrictive to me. I’m a seven on the Enneagram. I don’t like restrictions. But I did it. It was weird. It was different.

We’ve got on the one end of the spectrum. We’ve got the person who is very locked down physically. Right. And then on the other end of the spectrum, we have the person who is almost like they’re stocking the audience and they’re just like back and forth constantly moving. Right. The constantly moving.

Both of those examples are out of alignment with your intention and your, what, what you’re trying to communicate to your audience because neither of those are very, reflective or honest or real.

And our bodies reflect our emotions. They reflect our passion. They reflect our intention. Our goal with the body is to align the body with our content so that it makes the most sense from an audience perspective, we connect with it then. And importantly, when it’s aligned, it’s not distracting. So whenever I talk about delivery or body stuff, distraction is the only bar that I use.

Which then I hope, really invites everybody to show up fully. But with both of those examples, and there’s a whole spectrum of room in between on the one end, we have the person who hardly even moves that’s distracting.

Right? Cause it’s not really aligned. It’s not very real on the other end of the spectrum. We’ve got the person who’s moving so much. You stop listening to what they’re saying and you’re just like, Man. And it creates this feeling of unease for both of them. It takes our audience out of the engagement mode.

They’re not hearing what we’re saying. They’re not taking it in. They’re analyzing what we’re doing and they’ve suddenly kind of stepped out. Of the mode of connection and are looking at it from an analysis perspective, we want to, we want to keep them out of that mode and just keep them fully engaged with what we’re doing -which is why I think it’s so important too, to think about distraction as the only bar that’s that ultimately matters.

And there’s room for everybody. So your quirks. There’s room for them, as long as it’s not too distracting there’s room for some filler words, as long as it’s not too distracting there’s room for you to show up in your full glory and not have to do it exactly like everybody else, as long as it’s not distracting.

If there is something that about you and like how your, how your body shows up, how you show up and you know, that it’s distracting, what you have to do is call it out. And own it and really embrace it. And it becomes an accepted part of it who you are. And then everybody moves on from it.

One of my speakers on the show, he’s a professional speaker, a motivational speaker. He’s out, speaks all over the country, all over the world. He has a pretty significant speech impediment and some physical disabilities.

It’s part of who he is. It’s part of his message. It’s part of his mission and he owns it. So it might be distracting initially for people because it’s just different than what they may be are used to. But he uses it as a part of who he is and then people accept and they move on and it actually is a powerful part of how he shows up.

I say that because we can get really focused on getting rid of the things that in terms of our movement on our bodies. Cause we, we don’t want people to see all of the really human parts, but actually that’s important. Distraction is the only bar that I want you to worry about when you think about movement and your body.

When it’s aligned at all makes sense. And it’s not distracting.

Now, when you think about movement and your body, what we are avoiding is this, what it can kind of look like choreography, right? When you watch those speakers, where like everything is so planned at sort of high school speech in a professional context, and it’s weird.

It’s distracting because you’re like, that is not real. It’s not very conversational. It just looks a little overly polished and somebody has spent their prep time in the wrong way.

Instead, I want you to think about three things that I’m hoping is helpful when you think about your body and movement.

I want you to find the important moments. First of all, you have to know what the important moments are in your talk. But once you do that, once you find and know the important moments you really queuing your audience. Toward those moments, you’re saying, Hey, this is important.

And we know that by changing something in our delivery. So when we change our delivery in some way when we change the movement of our bodies in some way, so when we go from standing still to moving, we’re pulled in, we notice it’s a cue to the audience. Okay. Also where we move on stage.

Those are cues for the audience, right? Stepping in closer. You can do this virtually as well. When I, when I move closer, it’s more important when I stepped back. What does that communicate? Less important. We are using our bodies to underline things for our audience. And again, when it’s all aligned, it’s not distracting.

And then it’s really important to know ourselves well enough to know what our tendencies are, so we can own them in the appropriate way or fix them if they’re distracting in a way that is not good and is not how we want to be known with our brand.

Some people that filler words are, are, are a problem, and it is super distracting. If they say, um, a lot and you start to notice it and it becomes distracting, it can undercut your credibility in the same way. Sometimes people have tendency to use pitch in a certain way, and it’s undercutting themselves to ask everything like a question. That undercuts your authority and that’s not how you want to be known.

As you edit yourself it’s a great way it’s a great way to become aware of what our tendencies are. We all have them, and it’s just a journey of becoming more aware of our tendencies so we can start working on them. Awareness is the first step on that.

Even we’re talking about filler words and pitch tendencies, that’s not necessarily movement, but it’s really all under the umbrella of self-awareness, being aware of our own tendencies. Now that’s the first aspect. It was very traditional concept of movement.

But what I want to talk about that maybe you haven’t thought of before, which is what is the movement of your talk as a whole. In other words, where is it going? What is the pace of your talk? How does it feel? Does it land? We hear that phrase sometimes. Like, did you land that moment?

So I’m going to share with you a tool that I have used with my speakers in the past to help us get to a little more self-awareness of what’s happening. With the movement of our talks so that we can see it a little bit more. So it’s not this it’s not quite as vague and unknown is really theoretical concept. We can put some visuals to it that will help you.

When I think about the movement of the talk as a whole, this is where a lot of what we’ve been talking about over the last several weeks comes together.

Because when we use the, between moments super well, Hey, the silence, the spacing, it can help shape our talk. It creates movement in our talk. Our stories give our talks shape. And movement and feel. So we’re not always talking at people. The before moment is a beat that gives your talk shape and engagement and curiosity.

All of those things really create movement. So that we are moving towards something and it is not just a slog all the way along. We want moments where we’re moving through faster and where we are setting up those key, important moments for our audience. And then there’s going to be times where you’re flying through because it’s not as important.

So we want to use all of these tools so that our audience can more easily remember the important things. We’ve talked about this whole way along. They’re not gonna remember everything it’s not possible. No brain can do that. Everything creates a feel and there are moments we want them to remember.

And so we’re going to use, put all of these things together so that they can remember. And the movement of the talk is really the-I was going to say. It’s like a French phrase that I’m trying to access right now that I’m not even sure. I know what it means. Resistance something. you guys know what I mean? Right. It’s like the, the thing that brings it all together. Someone in the comments, you can help me. What on earth do, I mean, you know what I mean?

So what we’re trying to avoid of course is stagnation. Those moments where our audience gets bored or they’re less engaged, or they’re all of a sudden, like those moments where they’re pulled out of the experience and they’re analyzing it.

That’s what we’re trying to avoid. When we think about the movement of the talk is really keeping people with us and, and, and serving up those most important moments to our audience and saying, here you go. Here’s a really important thing. Don’t forget this. I am underlining it for you.

So when you get to a moment, you’re like this isn’t landing, this is not the movement of this isn’t working right now. There’s something in it where even as a speaker, you’re like, ha, this, this feels so. Opaque. And I don’t know, like there’s nothing for people to hang on to, and it’s not clear. Here’s a few things I want you to think about.

Maybe you just need to cut it. maybe it’s an easy cut and you just get rid of it because ultimately it’s not that necessary. It’s not serving you and moving your audience to the next part of your talk. So if you don’t need it, get rid of it. Maybe you need to look at how long you have been in one particular mode, right?

So maybe you’ve been at the, what I call the commentary part, where you’re talking at people, you’re offering your commentary. You’re saying, here’s what I’ve noticed here. You’re analyzing it. You’re offering your expertise. If you stay in that mode too long, people start to go somewhere else in their brain. And it’s time to switch up the modes and tell a story. And maybe that’s what’s going on.

How you figure this out -and here’s the tool that I want to share with you -how you figure this out is by mapping your talk and you can take all kinds of different elements of a talk like the pace or even like positive, negative – you can look at your pitch and figure out am I at this, this one pitch for too long?

What does this really look like? What is the movement of my talk? Actually look like? What is the shape of my talk? Well, you can map it out. It’s a really, really powerful way to take something that can feel super esoteric and give it a visual shapes. You can understand yourself and your tendencies and ultimately what shape you want to create, how you want your movement of your talk to look and feel for your audience.

So you could look at, let’s say pacing, for example, I’m going to take a piece of paper. So let’s say I want it to look at pace.

You just pull out a blank piece of paper and you’re going to watch and listen for yourself and all you’re listening for is pacing. Okay. So there’s kind of a, you’re going to have like –

oh, that marker is not working. You’re kind of going to have a middle. Basic line of like, okay, that’s sort of mid-pace. And once you, once you know that for yourself, it was like, okay, this is, this is really mid pace, but you’re going to listen. And like those moments where you get a little bit faster and you’re talking a lot faster, you’re going to map it up like that. And then when you start to slow things down a little bit, you’re going to bring it down.

Now, this is not scientific. You don’t have to be exact over at you’re looking for a generic. Sense of -can you guys see that? Super helpful tool. Sally can see what you’re doing. Let’s try that again.

Okay. We’ve got, can you see the hat? Really another bad marker. We use one of these big ones. Can you see that? There we go. Okay. So you have kind of a midline and as you are mapping your talk, you’re just taking your pen and putting it on the paper and listening and watching without judgment. The best that you can, you’re listening for changes in pace.

So as you get faster, it goes up and as you get slower, you bring your pen down again. It’s not exact, it’s not scientific. You don’t have to be like, well, it doesn’t really, it’s not to scale, blah, blah, blah. You’re just trying to give a sense of that, of the shape of it and what we want to see. You know, it doesn’t have to be like this.

Doesn’t have to do that, but you want to see some variety and importantly, When you slow down, you want it to match up with important moments or when it’s super fast, like that, is that the feel that you want? Is it like a really exciting thing maybe? And you want, you want the movement to match that? Or maybe it’s just really unimportant.

Like sometimes. I have my speakers move really quickly through some things, because we want to give the impression, want to give the feel of like, oh my gosh, there’s so much, and there’s this and there’s this, and there, this, it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying. I want the impression to be clear. I want the movement of it to be clear because it makes us feel something.

Ultimately we are with all of this, what makes a memorable speaker on stage is the feeling that we create and we are serving it up to our audience intentionally. And we’re trying to find that really difficult balance of being intentional without being robotic.

About being thoughtful about how we use our body and how we use the movement of our talk without being choreographed, without being so polished that it no longer feels of the moment in the moment connected to the audience. It is the thing that we are as speakers. It’s that elusive place that we are always trying to get to.

Now, when you master it, when you have those moments where you’re like, I felt really free, but I knew where I was going. I knew where I was moving towards. And I think thinking about the movement of your talk helps us get there because then it’s not, we’re not focused on every little moment, but there are key moments that we’re really going to focus on.

What are those key moments you want to nail? What are those moments where you’re like, I’m going to be sure that I slow this down so people don’t miss it.

And then there’s gonna be times when we’re like, we’re just flying through. Cause this is fun. And we’re just giving the feeling the impression of an experience.

So it helps us find that elusive place in the middle between this is really, really important. And I’m going to let go of this. It’s kind of, do you guys know the lazy genius? She’s a podcast. I just discovered her recently.

We’re kind of lazy genius thing. Our talks. Oh, I just had that aha moment all by myself here. Right in this training

These are big concepts, big ideas. They cover a lot of different things, but I’m, I’m, I’m hoping to introduce some of these concepts to you. If they’re new to you. So you can start wrapping your brains around them and then give you a few nuggets in this series so that you can make it tactical and put these to work on your behalf.

The before moment, the stories when and how. So, so important to use stories so that your audience can remember not just you, but those key ideas questions. Okay, Jen, the pacing is really helpful. My question for you -is it thinking about how to set up the audience for those key moments?


Sally Z

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