Public Speaking 101: How To Wow An Audience

Here’s a short list of what it takes to be an effective public speaker. These lessons apply whether you’re giving your first speech and you are terrified, or if you are in your 20th year on the speaking circuit:

1)  Treasure the first 60 seconds.

2)  If you’re terrified, work that into your opening.

3)  Know your audience.

4)  Manage your space as a director would.

5)  Slow down.

6)  Vary your tone, volume, timing and demeanor.

7)  Go for it.

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is barely a movie. … It’s a weird, creaking carnival ride that feels like it’s about to break apart and sling you off into the cotton candy and toothless barker stand at any moment. You can compare it to other movies, but the thing that it most aptly resembles is being trapped in a sweaty, revolving cart while “Freebird” blares at you through speakers that should’ve been replaced 20 years ago. It’s a grating, impossibly timed piece of celluloid.

A good third of the people that sat beside me when I saw it LOVED IT. There is a cult of Chain Saw that can barely be replicated by any other movie. It is to horror fans what Jimi Hendrix and Pulp Fiction posters are to your freshman year roommate who just had the best, most interesting, hilarious moment, bro, while being high for the second time: a monument dedicated to everything they stand for.

Another third of the audience seemed disgusted. The guy beside me kept whispering, “What the fuck?” whenever he saw a piece of furniture made out of something that a person uses to wave. There is nary a couch or table in Chain Saw that didn’t used to be a handshake, so “What the fuck?” became a musical cue to inform me that something awful had already happened. When it was over, a woman stood up, said, “That was sick,” and then immediately tripped in her aisle, because the world solely exists to laugh at us until we die.

The last third of the audience exploded out of the theater to tell their friends that they didn’t find it that scary. There was an intense fervor to these personal declarations of fortitude. It wasn’t just an “I wasn’t scared!” that you’d use to hint to your unfortunate date that your genitals are intact, fearless, and functional. It was them proving themselves able to sit through Chain Saw’s fabled roller coaster of an experience and come out unscathed and with all of their pieces not yet turned into a chair.

6 Classic Horror Films You See Differently in a New Audience

CITE DU VATICAN, Vatican City : Pope Francis arrives under heavy rain, for his weekly general audience in St Peter’s square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015.      AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS                        

I will tell you very plainly how I see the relationship between an artist and his audience by telling you a little story that I heard many years ago and made quite an impression on me. You see, during the middle ages a certain woodcarver in China was given the task of crafting a stand for temple bells. It was a very honorable assignment for this Chinese woodcarver and he set about his work. While he carved, he started thinking about all the money he would earn from this bell stand and as it happened the carving turned out quite poorly. But since he was an ambitious Chinese craftsman he started all over again. But this time too as he carved, he started thinking about how he would win everyone’s love with this incredibly beautiful stand and this attempt was a failure as well. So he destroyed that stand and started a third time. But this time it occurred to him that he could gain immortality with this bell stand and his third attempt was a failure too. With that our Chinese woodcarver grew as furious as only a Chinese woodcarver can be and he decided to try a fourth time. This time he had just one thought in his mind, to create a bell stand. This time he succeeded and in doing so gained love, money and immortality.
—  Ingmar Bergman