Last year, I got the opportunity to see Florence La Rue and the 5th Dimension perform in Marina Del Rey, Ca. It was mesmerizing! I discovered that singing is a lot like speaking. Let me share what I learned by using the acronym PERFORM.
P is for Plan and Performance
It was evident the 5th Dimension planned every song and every move. Everything flowed together and ended with an electrifying grand finale. Just like planning a performance, you need to plan your speech. Plan it to the minute—how to open, your personal story, how much meat to include, what to talk about and how to close. Work up to your own grand finale.
E is for Energy
The 5th Dimension had us rocking for two hours straight! They gave it their all! So, muster up your energy! Turn it on! Give it everything you’ve got! Ignite your audience!
A well planned, non-stop performance also has planned resting spots—rest for the performer and for the audience.
Florence pulled up stools during their performance, giving us all a chance to rest. When you’re speaking, you can do it too!
Pull up a chair, or a stool, at some point in your speech—if it’s appropriate—and just relax. I don’t recommend that you sit the entire time you’re speaking, but if there’s a spot where you can rest and give your audience a rest then do so!
R is for Rehearse
The concert flowed perfectly! It seemed spontaneous, but was well rehearsed. All physical movement should be deliberate and rehearsed. When you walk stage left or stage right, your movements must be practiced.
When I use the business card strategy to collect my audience’s contact information, I’ve rehearsed it over and over again. I know exactly how long it will take to gather the business cards and have a volunteer come up and select one. Remember, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
F is for Fun.
The concert was fun! They engaged their audience. Make sure your presentation is fun! Most of the time we can’t see ourselves; we are either too critical or we’re just not seeing it as others do. So ask a friend. Ask them if they had a good time. Was it a fun experience?
O is for Original
The 5th Dimension has an original sound, style, and look. They are original. When you speak make sure you are using an original style.
When I speak, I say, “How cool is that? That’s cool!” That’s my signature move. I made that up. It was an instinctive move one day, and I went with it.
Find your own original moves and your own original voice. There is nothing more memorable then being an original.
R is for Rhythm, Respect and Rapport
The singing, the flow, the dancing—everything had rhythm. Your speech has to have it’s own rhythm. Your words need to connect. Transition from one thought to the next. When you finish your personal story, don’t say, “that was my personal story.” No! it needs to flow into the next thing.
You will discover your own rhythm the more you speak. I have a rhythm when I speak. I get excited, and then I pause. It’s dramatic, and gives me time to think about what I am going to say next.
There needs to be respect for each other. Have respect for your audience, and respect for the person inside of you!
From the very beginning, build rapport! Make sure that you never, ever leave out a genuine thank you to your audience for their time. Continue to build rapport throughout your presentation.
M is for Move and Motivate
Florence La Rue had all the moves. She looked fabulous! The entire group flowed together as one.
When you are speaking, move with purpose. Know where you are going and why. Whatever your purpose is, think and then move. Otherwise, all you are doing is pacing. Make sure your hands are moving, explaining and complementing what you are saying. Movement attracts the eye, so to keep it from being distracting, move with purpose.
The 5th Dimension are very motivating. I felt better after seeing them. I got to see something and experience something that I had never experienced before! That’s called living!
How many times have you put off going to see something and then it’s gone? I urge you to see Florence La Rue and the 5th Dimension. Experience something new! Get out and do something different before it’s too late.
P is for plan and performance, E is for energy, R is for rehearse, F is for fun, O is for original, R is for rhythm, respect and rapport, and M is for move and motivate.