Leaving politics aside, there are some great public speaking and presentation lessons that can be learnt from last night‘s debate between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott.  

  1. There is a fine line between passion and aggression.  It is wonderful if you can be passionate about your message.  Passion connects with the audience – it highlights your sincerity and commitment to your message.  However, you need to watch that your passion does not tip over to aggression.  Sometimes too much passion can be confronting to the audience.  It needs to be tempered with a change in pace.  You need to ensure that your passion highlights your message and not overshadows it.  
  2. There is also a fine line between being calm, cool and collected and being bland.  A confident persona that presents calm and in control can be powerful in connecting with your audience and in conveying a  trust me message –  I have the answers I am in control.  The danger can be that you come across too in control. 

A good approach is to mix it up.  Have your passion – let your feelings show but temper it with a cool confident approach.  The message being yes I am passionate about this = yes this is something I feel strong about but I am in control and I am confident – I am quietly sincere.
Words can be very powerful in presenting and writing speeches. Using triplets and alliteration can capture and hold an audience – listen to or read  some of Churchill’s famous speeches – we shall fight! we shall fight! we shall fight! ….  and in another one – we will never, never, never, never …… 
However, the over use of one word can also work against you – it can become annoying and may give the opposite message to what you would like.  For example – the over use of “frankly”. The use of too many words can also muddy the waters.  Often being short and to the point can get the message across much more effectively.  Sometimes, especially, in a debate words can pop out that whilst reflecting your emotions;  may be said in a better way.
No one ever said it was easy to be a great speaker and presenter – but the journey is fascinating and it is always wonderful to watch others and learn.  Last night we had two definite styles of speaking offering plenty of opportunities to learn.
Trish @ Trischel

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