Thinking fast and talking smart – viewed fast and smart

13 Jan 2016

Visual communication (read videos) and spontaneous public speaking are two of my areas of interest. The first one as my professional career and the second one as a student of the art. So, I thought I would use what I do for a living to tell you about some of the best practices I came across for the art I admire.

The thought of doing this came to me because I recently viewed this hour-long YouTube video by Matt Abrahams, a lecturer teaching strategic communication at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It’s simply fascinating. I strongly recommend you view it end to end too, if you have the time. All you need to do is click on the play button on this page.

However, if the length of the video tempts you to file it away, please don’t! I thought the work I do for a living could be used to bring the talk to you in a way that saves you time. I have always wanted to highlight portions of long videos and place my own comments on the highlights so I could bring out the nuances of the video clips out from my perspective. That’s what I have done here. So, as you read my comments, click on the links to jump to the portions of this hour-long video that I really find important. I would like to add a disclaimer here that the video is proprietary content of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is being streamed directly from YouTube.

So, read on … oops … re(ad)view on :-).

“Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of many years.”
When Matt asks the audience to have a look at the statement above and spot the number of times the letter “F” appears in it, I could find only three. And when he reveals that most of us missed the “F” appearing in “of”, I was astonished. Quite a brilliant way to engage the audience, while driving home the point that a vast majority were not effective enough to get it right.

The same holds true when we are speaking in public, particularly when we are required to speak spontaneously. We are just not effective enough. And overcoming this shortcoming through cognitive techniques is the crux of Matt Abrahams’ presentation.

Matt reveals that in the real world, spontaneous speaking is far more predominant than planned speaking. But in order to be an effective communicator, whether it is planned or spontaneous, you need to first control your anxiety. To learn how to do that, check out Matt’s remedy for putting your anxiety under control.

The fear of spontaneous speaking is universal, but it is certainly one that can be managed. Matt provides an interesting insight on overcoming anxiety symptoms when he asks you to simply greet your anxiety and understand that feeling nervous is perfectly normal.

Another very useful technique Matt shares for making your speech effective is to use conversational language. A good place to start is by asking questions.

Most of us, when we present, are worried about impending consequences. Matt explains that if you can bring yourself into the present moment, rather than being worried about future consequences, you can actually be less nervous. Here’s what Matt has to say about becoming present oriented.

For me, one of the great insights of Matt’s presentation was that most people see spontaneous speaking as some kind of a threat, making them more withdrawn. The key is to look at spontaneous speaking as an opportunity. Watch Matt describe how to see spontaneous speaking as an opportunity.

Practicing the techniques discussed in this video will definitely help you respond more ably to spontaneous speaking situations. And if you do not have an hour to watch it, make your viewing experience faster and more efficient by using the in-video links kPoint makes possible. If you like video, you may write to Matt. And if you like the links, write to me.

Avijit Senmazumder
avijit.senmazumder@kPoint.com
Chief Product Architect, kPoint Technologies, has architect-ed the media backbone for rapid video creation and delivery at kPoint. Avijit has a B. Tech. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from NIT Warangal and M. S. in Computer Science from UC, Santa Barbara.

 

Disclaimer: The video is proprietary content of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is being streamed from YouTube. For more such insightful videos, please visit the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ YouTube channel.