Well positioned, well timed and appropriate humour can be a powerful way to get and keep our attention.
We are told anecdote after anecdote, it feels like a meandering talk not only about his own son, but everyone’s children. Each funny story serves to illustrate a specific point about creativity. Ken seduces us with tales of dinner parties, nativity plays and children taking chances. In the same way a great stand-up comedian will throw ideas away and then bring us back to them just as they are almost forgotten, Ken keeps bringing us back to his theme. His final story about Gillian Lynne is all the more profoundly moving because he makes a clear choice NOT to use humour.
Something we always tell clients on our training courses is to never underestimate the power of using their own style of humour in a presentation - audiences like to laugh.
The significance of a particular point in a presentation can be substantially elevated simply by putting the emphasis on a key word. Ken Robinson uses this principle to his advantage several times in his speech with emphasis on words like ‘extraordinary’, ‘variety’, ‘we are educating people OUT of their creative capacity’.
Emphasizing key words extends to key messages and the links between children needing to make mistakes, to organisations doing the same to allow staff to be creative.
A simple change in vocal tone, pitch and volume to emphasize significance not only achieves this goal but makes a presentation much easier and more enjoyable to listen to.
Ken uses self-disclosure throughout this twenty minute talk, we learn an amazing amount of information about him, his family and his likes and dislikes.
Self-disclosure allows us to build bridges with people; we are after all pack animals by nature. When we acknowledge that we all have similarities it is far easier to trust and ultimately like someone. Study after study has proven ‘likeability’ to be the single biggest influencer.
Ken comes across as likable and above all human, he can’t multi task, he’s a proud Dad, he didn’t like his son’s girlfriend and his wife can’t cook. And so it goes on.
We all share the human experience, so allowing your audience a window into how you see the world and how that ties into your presentation can be very powerful.
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