I don’t use props when I speak.
But a group of National Speaker Association members decided in a brainstorming session that this was a skill speakers need to improve to be better at their craft.
I guess that means me.
But I am not inclined to carry ‘stuff’ with me when I travel. And more often than not the crowds I am speaking to are too large to see anything that I could carry in my backpack or hold up in my hand. Of course, if there is a big screen projection, that’s a different story.
My expertise = the subject of my talks does not lend itself to props. I don’t demonstrate products or juggle – though I have thought about the juggling … or maybe folding origami while I do my talk. But I don’t know how to do either.
There was a time when I was speaking at churches and a point I wanted to make was that church people need to know how others are doing … I mean really doing. No superficial greetings and artificial smiles.
I illustrated the point by asking if everyone knew how they thought I was doing. I was suited up and even had a tie … as well as other articles of clothing.
But while I talked, I kicked off my shoes and displayed my socked feet with the toes missing. Then I took off my jacket, turned around and showed a dress shirt with the back ripped off. I looked pretty good until I showed everyone what was underneath. It was pretty effective.
Speakers would do well to give listeners something visual to go with their words. And if the speaker can far beyond a deck of powerpoint slides s/he will be leaps ahead of the competition.
Give your listeners something to see and touch to go along with what they are hearing.