As a Stand Up Comedian channeling my talents, improvisational skills and performance accrual into my speaking business, I have acquired wisdom from performance arts that are apropos to the speaking business.
(1) Know your audience! When crafting your speech or presentation know everything you can about the audience you will address. This involves researching the company, the demographic of the audience, what time you will be on (morning versus evening audiences are DIFFERENT!)
(2) Know your material. The audience expects you to in essence lead them. Lead them with your professional and knowing grasp of your subject matter.
(3) Do not expect to win over everyone with your great speech! Stand Up Comedians know beforehand that not everyone may be receptive to their material. Yet, a Comedian knows how to control an audience, continue to move forward with their material, and to connect with those in the audience that do get their message!
(4) Learning to move through your material or speech is NOT ignoring the audience. A Stand Up Comedian will instantly make adjustments in their material to meet the needs and personality of a particular audience. As a speaker, you 'read' your audience and make adjustments in how you present your material!
(5) ATTITUDE is everything! The audience gains confidence in you the moment you walk out onto the stage. HOW you walk to that mic, podium or lectern BEFORE you open your mouth determines how the audience will accept or connect with you. More important is the connection! Make them want you! Make that audience want to be like you!
(6) Along with attitude in coming on stage is CONTROL! A Stand Up Comedian, a good one, comes on stage and CONTROLS the stage, it is their DOMAIN! In taking control of the stage the comedian, lets the audience know that they are in for a remarkable experience. They make the audience feel safe.
The stage should be your domain, your home, your place of comfort.
(7) To make the stage your domain, take lessons to improve your performance. Take acting lessons, improvisation lessons, theater lessons. Observe performers in action and take what you need to improve your stage performance. Go to open mikes and just get up and try to make a joke or just talk to the audience. Stage time is everything!
For an example outside of comedy, take Tiger Woods. Mr. Woods, a naturally gifted golfer still takes lessons to improve his game!
(8) Do auditions! Auditioning whether for a play, movie, theater production or whatever makes you think 'conciseness' in getting YOUR persona (and your message) across quickly. Auditioning makes you think on your feet! You have to deliver yourself, BE yourself and who you really are, usually in three to five minutes depending on the requirements of the audition.
(9) A manager at The New York Comedy Club once observed me looking glum in the club. He immediately told me to smile because I am in show business!
YOU, as a speaker are in Show Business! Smile! Radiate like a star! Make people want to connect with you by the aura you create!
Apparently, I can't count...YOUR bonus!