Last Thursday, I did a sort of book talk for my 2nd book at KL International Book Fair. My target was to sell from stage and convert at least half of the room. Well, not bad, I think I manage to do it. But secretly I was hoping to convert the entire room though. 🙂
What I notice about me is I have a split personality. I observe this since becoming a debater in school, but more so now. I am naturally a shy person (don’t laugh!), but when I am on stage, give me more than 5 minutes I sort of turned into incredible hulk. Nothing is impossible. :p
And this transformation usually last quite long. Until I was alone again, then only I will be my normal self back. So, let say after the talk, there is a makan-makan session, I will bring my stage persona with me during makan-makan. Light, bubbly and maybe a little bit entertaining.
So for example, if people asked me whether “ada rules makan tak?” (mcm Sabriza ada banyak. Itu tak boleh makan, ini tak boleh makan.)
I will say, “Ada, satu je. Lagi banyak lagi bagus” (to the laughter of everyone)
Also on stage, my persona is as a young, macho, cool guy persona. Sometimes I also add “I am slightly overweight humour” in it. I think adding your own persona in your presentation make it more lively and engaging to the audiences. Sometimes I do come as brash and arrogant but I will do it in a tasteful way.
For example I will ask the audience after creating a curiosity and question in their mind that I know that they will have, “How many of you want to ask me this questions?” (I use this to encourage audiences participation). And I add to that question, “If nobody want me to answer it, I will not tell you the answers” (if nobody raise their hand, then I wont tell them the answer but usually there are people who will raise their hand)
I also trained the audience to respond to me by rewarding them whenever they took action. And after giving them their reward, I will say, “biasalah… saya memang berkira sikit” 🙂
This is when I am free to interact with the audience. There maybe sometimes where the speaker are not allowed to involve audience in his speech (eg: debate, competition). In this scenario, experience, personality and humor are very important. I will gauge the audiences interest and guided them to respond with laughter. Based on the laughter, we control the audiences opinions and at the end of the speech, shape the opinions to take whatever action we want them to take.
A not so polished speaker or people who are afraid of public speaking may think humour and entertaining speech are not as important as the substance of the speech itself, but I think this type of opinion is shallow. Entertaining speech is very important, as important as the content itself.
Without an entertaining delivery mechanism, the message will be lost in the audiences mind.
But don’t worry. If a shy person like me can become a public speaker, any normal person can. You just need training, experiences and someone to coach and improvise you along the way.
A lot of people here including my sister I think have never see me on stage yet. But well, the result speak for itself (see first paragraph). If I am on my element, I think I can sell ices to Eskimos… 🙂
The weird thing is, because of this split personality my family cannot imagine me giving public talks. Even some of my geek friends thought me as just another geek (masuk kandang kambing mengembek, masuk kandang lembu mengembu).
What is the purpose of this post again?
Well, just so that you know I am huble and down to earth person who happened to be a very good public speaker. haha… :p
So, if I am a little bit shy when you meet me, don’t say I am sombong ok. I am naturally shy, except when I am on stage. Then I will be bubbly and merry. In my family, there is only one diva and its not Sabri. 😉
Oops, lupa cover perut la…
Tengok buku saper banyak di recommend tu…