1.) A personal story coming alive. Humans down to their very core are built off of stories. Our journey itself is a story, we fell asleep to stories in bed, we laugh at stories, learn from stories, are drawn to story telling. Thus, using a story to get a message across couldn’t be a better way of speaking to the audience and getting them to change the way they think. The specific details, the real life non-fictitious occurrences, let the audience have something to grab onto, rather than float along with the vagueness that really doesn’t speak to the core. In Robert Gupta’s speech, he uses this extremely well: http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_gupta_between_music_and_medicine.html
His entire speech is from his own personal experience of battling between his love for music and his passion to help others though medicine. It’s a battle that many people can relate to, and for me personally, is something very poignant and pertinent to my current situation as an undergraduate. His personal stories add to the overall quality of the argument because it isn’t something general. With a personal story, we look at the ideas through an amazing microscope where we can see so much more and understand so much more. With that, it can even inspire. After watching this TED talk, I feel as though I can continue my musical career, and that I should continue with it. Sacrificing something as amazing as classical music is simply not worth it. Personal stories better inspire, better persuade, and provide better entertainment as well that will keep the audience further engaged.
2.) Grabbing your audience and throwing it in your own speech. The room isn’t a hydrophobic-hydrophilic organized setting, where the hydrophobic individuals ban together, never, ever touching the water-loving individual(s). Likewise, the audience shouldn’t sit in their seats; their minds shouldn’t sit in their seats and let the speaker talk, while there is a barrier, a hierarchy between audience and speaker that separates them. Instead, the room should be a mixture, the speakers ideas blended around the audience’s thoughts. And if this mental mixture isn’t enough, maybe even go for the physical. One of the best examples I’ve seen in a TED talk where the speaker engages the audience and lets them interact with what he or she is saying is in Benjamin Zander’s talk about classical music: http://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html
In this talk, he directly addressed them when he says things like “well this is probably what you all are thinking” or when he categorizes the audience into how much affinity they have towards classical music. He even gets into the audience section when he literally pushes a member on the shoulder to prove his point about the power of the “one-buttock” technique. There is no barrier at all between Zander and his audience. Instead, they are all on the same plane, and that grabs the audience’s attention throughout. Zander shows how his topic is relevant to all the audience by mixing around the room so that the audience and speaker and his ideas are a blend of fascinating chaos that gets our mental juices going.
3.) Twist and shout! Okay maybe not shout, but talk and engage us with a twist. No one likes a cliché, but it’s true, they are hard to avoid. The topic of the speech is majorly important, if that wasn’t a given. The topic of the speech shouldn’t be something we’ve heard over and over again, yet that doesn’t mean that the speaker is required to create something totally new with the pressure of sounding like a repeat of something else. What we need is an original twist at approaching a common subject if not a totally new, unheard of topic for a speech. The audience is more satisfied and fulfilled, mentally challenged with something unfamiliar. The world of the unknown is so interesting, and even the world of the known can grab our attentions if we just see it through a different lens or perspective.