If you haven’t yet seen this Elevator Speech by Phil Davidson (running for Stark County Treasurer for the Republican Party in 2010), watch it now. You won’t be disappointed. It is undoubtedly the worst speech ever given in the history of human communication. Ever!
So bad, it’s great. So painful it’s comforting.
If you’ve seen it before, treat yourself and watch it again.
(if you enjoy this post, take a look at Elevator PItch School
(love his attempt to quote Einstein @ 1min:45secs)
Then once you’ve finished laughing, here are 3 things he actually gets right, that all of us should be sure to copy for our next speech.
1. Passion – OK, he goes way over the top ultimately, but there is no denying the man’s passion. He puts his heart out there front and centre and is truly giving it all he’s got.
Passion signifies authenticity, which builds your credibility. It is the most important factor when trying to convey sincerity. The equation in your audience’s mind is: “If he’s so passionate about this, he must really believe it”.
Of course, passion is not to be confused with bluster and loudness. Gandhi was a passionate speaker, but he did not scream and shout in his speeches. True passion (the kind that will resonate with your audience) comes from the passion you reveal for your subject. You must convey to your audience that sense that you are so engrossed in your topic that you would happily speak about your subject for hours to an empty room.
When your audience feels your authenticity, they will believe you all the more.
2. Appearance – probably because everything else he did was so over-powering, I’ll bet you didn’t notice this. Look again – that’s actually a fine looking suit. Mr Davidson is actually extremely well turned out, and would probably have received a few votes for appearance alone if he hadn’t gone on to actually speak.
Appearance matters because first impressions matter. Before you say a word your audience has already made an infinite number of assumptions about you, all based on what your appearance conveys to them.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it has to be a suit. You could wear combat trousers and a hoodie if that will connect better with your audience; or a dinner jacket and bow tie for that gala keynote speech; or blue jeans and a turtleneck (a la Steve Jobs). It’s about dressing appropriately for the occasion so that how you look sends the message you want to send to your audience.
3. Movement – Just because there is a podium, doesn’t mean you have to be tied to it. Podiums and lecterns actually create a physical barrier between you and your audience that can create a disconnect if you’re not careful.
Again, our friend Mr Davidson does a bit too much movement but at least he doesn’t stay static. He punctuates his speech with motion, hand gestures, audience interaction and great eye contact, and this helps us stay focused on him – that and the fact that he is clearly nuts!
So for your next speech, move; pace the stage; use meaningful arm and hand movement (studies have shown that complex thinkers actually use more hand gestures). It will help to give you and your speech a greater sense of dynamism.
OK. Now, go on. Watch it again. You know you want to!
Be sure to check out Elevator Pitch School for the next time you have to give your pitch