Speaking Skills Learned from Saturday Night Live

This past week I had the pleasure of working with a group of six very youthful presenters, all of whom were preparing to speak with– let’s delicately say– a more mature audience.

Among the many things we discussed was the importance of not only speaking clearly but also speaking a bit more loudly than might feel normal for them, as it was possible that members of their audience might not have their aural acuity.

To make my point (and make them laugh) I directed them to a recent skit from SNL, an ostensible ad for the Amazon Echo “Silver”: an Echo for the Greatest Generation.

As you’ll see, a major differentiator of the “Echo Silver” is the volume at which it speaks.

Should you doubt that (or wonder if) your hearing has been impacted (or want to make yourself feel happier about it) I recommend taking a look at the App “Teenager Repellent”which plays a tone at a frequency only the younger set can hear, getting them to depart the room should you wish it.

Why do I mention this?

Because in addition to the importance of “speaking into your audience’s listening” i.e. speaking to your audience about the things that concern/interest them as opposed to speaking solely about the things that interest/concern you, it’s critical to – literally—speak into your audience’s listening.