Because leaders have to cast vision and inspire those on their teams to action, the ability to communicate well is a necessary skill each leader must have.  So they question begs – how do you become a great public speaker?

Comic-Con is a 4-day event held annually to showcases comic books, science fiction and previews of some of the most anticipated upcoming movies.  In Comic-Con 2013 the makers of Thor: The Dark World pleasantly shocked those in attendance when Thor’s arch-nemisis Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, made surprise appearance which must be seen above.

After watching Hiddleston’s performance, I gleaned the following 16 Tips To Becoming A Great Public Speaker:

  1. Give People What They Want – Is what you are saying about you or your audience?  Those who attend Comic-Con are looking for a memorable experience.  They want to get advanced screenings of upcoming movies and see the stars of the film.  Marvel went over-the-top in delivering on their desires.  What is it that your audience truly wants from you?
  2. Start Small – Never despise small beginnings for greatness is often birthed and cultivated in secret.  As Hiddleston said in the interview below, “I’m a stage actor.  I trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  7,000 is the biggest gig I’ve ever played.”
  3. Earn The Right To Be Heard – Because of the success of Hiddleston’s character Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies, the film’s producers knew Loki would be wholeheartedly (and that is an understatement) well-received.
  4. Create Tension – Comic-Con did this by turning off the lights.
  5. Use Theatrics – The use of lights, multi-media and other forms of theatrical communication create experiences your audience will talk about days, weeks and months later.
  6. Respect Your Audience – One of the reasons the Marvel movie franchise is so popular is they respect their audience.  The producers of Thor: The Dark World realized their expectations were high so they created an interactive experience with Loki himself.
  7. Sympathize With Your Audience – The audience must know you understand their struggle.  Hiddleston mentioned they had “lined up in the sweltering heat for hours.”
  8. Speak To Those Who Are There To Hear Your Message – As Seth Godin has taught us, as a speaker are you more concerned with the one critic/heckler or the 99 who are there to hear what you have to say.  Focus on the 99.
  9. Wonderfully Surprise Your Audience – As a public speaker, are you and your format predictable?  When promoting movies at Comic-Con the actors and directors traditionally participate in a panel Q&As.  No one had ever come out in complete character as Hiddleston did.
  10. Engage Your Audience – Do you speak to your audience or at them?  Through body-language, facial expression and other gestures, Hiddleston made the audience part of the experience.
  11. Own The Content – Great communicators have mastery over their content and how best to communicate it.  This is evidenced by the phrase, “The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for a place in this chamber, this meager palace of Midgard, in the arena they call Hall H.”
  12. Leverage What Is Familiar – As a public speaker you have content and techniques which are time-tested and previously well-received.  Use them!
  13. Create Memorable Bottom Lines – Think of the top 5 sermons or speeches you have ever heard.  Now, what do you remember about them?  I suspect it is a story or memorable bottom line.  Hiddleston’s memorable bottom line is “I am Loki from Asghard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.”
  14. Use Humor – Humor disarms your audience and creates a connection.
  15. Deliver Your Speech/Sermon With Passion – As Hiddleston reached a crescendo with the phrases, “Say my name.  Say my name.  SAY MY NAME!!!”, his passion energized those in attendance.
  16. Deliver Your Speech/Sermon With Excellence – Audiences no longer accept average.  They will not be reduced to a level of mediocrity.  However, as demonstrated by Hiddleston’s speech, they will line up for hours for excellence.


If you want to become a great public speaker and/or preacher, I cannot recommend enough the Preach Better Sermons event below.  This is a FREE online conference which all speakers should sign up for.  Click HERE or on the image below and register today.

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