In the victorian period (1937-1901) a PUBLIC SPEAKER would use a particular style of personality – stances – gestures – tonality – attire that were familiar to their audience, as ‘the-way’ to convey their message.
Think of it as dramatic acting from a stage and similar to mime.
For example, leaning back, arms thrown back in the air, eyes wide open, mouth gasping, to indicate surprise, to encourage the audience to ‘feel’ the surprise. It would have looked hilariously stylised. This is called ‘gestural-vocabulary’.
Public speaking became prominent in the late 19th century.
A biased selection of the victorian gestural-vocabulary were adopted as the ‘norm’ in the Public Speakers repertoire. Speakers remained staged and predictable.
In this 20th century, many public speakers, are still being taught these cookie-cutter style of speaking habits that were acceptable in the last quarter of the 19th Century. Overly formal, stagey, biased gestures, stances, tonality, attire and personality. Gestural-vocabulary is still being used to train speakers and especially professional ones. These gestures although biased, at least mimic real human behaviour and are less gimmicky.
Around 2010, audiences were beginning to want something more from their speakers. The were tired of feeling like they were being spoken at, and over the coercion. We began to hear about a conversational style of speaking in public.
Public Speaking in 2017, was a mixture of speaking in a conversational style and authentic personality. The audiences wanted to be inspired by the individual. Although (still) with pre-conceived-stylised gestures. A good example are TED Talks.
Evolved audiences seek to witness the ‘real’ person, without the cookie-cutter-stylised–bells-and-wistles-and-coercion. They are ready to sit forward and take in the uniqueness of the individual. Our audiences expect to be inspired by our quirks and foibles, and our true life experiences, to hear what we believe in. Our audience hopes to hear the shift they seek, and for this to happen, they need us to be unequivocally Authentically-our-self! to be able to gain the most benefit from us and our the message. Anything less is a disservice to our audience.
This authentic style of public speaking where the speaker delivers their self-authored talk with their theory-of-change, from their authentic personality, while using their own gestures (and not the stylised repetoire belonging to the 19 century), dressing in their own style, is a new and evolving concept that SHE Talks is bringing to the forefront of PUBLIC SPEAKING in 2018.
~ Dr. Fur Wale
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