Performing Your Words

Guy Kawasaki has some great tips on his blog on public speaking, gleaned from a buddy, Doug Lawrence, professional singer, music director, and speech coach. Anyone reading at the LA Bloggers Live event may want to take a gander.

Singing and speaking have everything in common—except for maybe really good tunes. The main goal is to engage your audience and make them listen to you, so everything a singer does, a speaker ought to do too. Here are the absolute necessities of an engaging performance or presentation that Doug compiled…..

And you may want to peruse the tips from Toastmasters on public speaking.

I would add:

1. Make sure to BREATHE.

2. S L O W D O W N

3. Don’t be afraid of silence…. it is a useful tool that lets the audience absorb what you just said, and pay attention to what you’re going to say next.

4. Vary the rhythm and pitch of your voice.

…and finally….

5. Practice. Even if it is just running through the words a couple of times.

Interested in spoken word as art? Well so Theresa Cowan….

While spoken word performers have been around for over two decades in North America, their work has not been studied seriously by academics as an art form worthy of their consideration. Theresa Cowan is working to change this neglect through her research for her PhD in English (under the supervision of Dr. Michael O’Driscoll) that examines spoken word performance in Canada. “I initially became interested in this work because I am a spoken word artist and I found that many ‘academic poets’ made fun of spoken word as ‘bad poetry,’ rather than engage with it on its own terms.”

Do you think PhD candidates in English will soon be studying blogging as an art form? Do YOU think bloggers are writers?

Many of the bloggers I enjoy reading are good writers… personally I wouldn’t call all bloggers writers, however. Some create lists of links, for example.

Curious what you think….