Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Everything I Need To Know About Public Speaking, I Learned From William Shatner

I've been a William Shatner fan forever. There's the whole Trekkie thing, but I even read his books, listen to his music, and I've got to say I've never been more in love with him than when he is being Denny Crane. Shatner blows me away because he's so darn ballsy, silly and so good at promoting his own special brand. But the one thing that everyone remembers about Shatner is how he speaks. There's a million and one parodies of it in pop culture and it's always great for comedians who aren't funny and need a fall back that everyone will giggle at. But once you wash away the silliness, there's actually some (kinda) good tips in there:

You know that's why Shatner was still referenced for such a long time in pop culture. It's all about the pauses, baby! Lifehack says a verbal comma equals one moment of pausing, while a period equals two moments.

Want to get your point across? Just make sure you say it twelve or twenty times in the same sentance! Okay, so Shatner's not that extreme, but he (and his chacters) certainly have a habit of repeating the same thing in slightly different ways again and again. Supposedly, repetition is even enjoyable for audience members (maybe because they only have to listen 1/2 the time to understand the whole).

Speak Out Stand Out's blog post on sincerity defines it as "a quality of naturalness and simplicity." Shatner certainly owns the art of acting like he's making everything up as he goes along, and what could be more natural than that?

This last bit of knowledge fell directly from Denny Crane's lips. It's a valuable piece of advice to remember since losing your cool or acting defeated aren't going to win over an audience. But a big ole smile and a chipper attitiude can go a long way to keeping them on your side, admiring your gracious defeat (unless you are Hillary Clinton, who acted like a zombie that wouldn't die).

Related posts:
How Kansas City is Like Gotham City
Tom Cruise & the Gayest Unicorn

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Warrior Two said...

Do you listen to "Look At His Butt"?
(lookathisbutt.blogspot.com) It's pretty awesome.

May said...

I'm certainly going to now! Thanks for letting me know about it :)

Jason said...

That's hilarious and oh so true.

Anonymous said...

I <3 William Shatner as well.
If you haven't already, definitely check out his interpretation of Elton John's Rocket Man. It's hilarious.

May said...

Jeannalea - I have seen that! Cracks me up every single time!