What Michael Bublé can teach us about public speaking

As you may know, one of my main hobbies is jazz dance – I’ve been taking classes since 1983. At the moment, we are learning a lovely routine to ‘Feeling Good’ by Michael Bublé. So I was particularly pleased when one of my PSA* (Professional Speaking Association) contacts recently posted this video on Facebook.

It includes an amazing moment. Watch, and you’ll know exactly when it is.

It is also a demonstration of some great stage-craft. Here are the lessons that can be drawn out:

  • 0:00 Michael responds to Sam’s mum’s intervention by breaking from his performance to sit on the stage and have a private chat with her.

    TIP. Be ready for anything. You never know what questions / challenges you’ll get from the audience.

  • 0:20 Sam’s mum doesn’t have a microphone and can’t be heard by anyone else.

    TIP. When you get questions / interaction from the front that the back of the audience can’t hear, repeat / summarise them

  • 0:50 Michael tells Sam: “I remember being your age”.

    TIP. Identify with the audience

  • 1:20 Michael’s incredulous reaction speaks for itself.

    TIP. It’s OK to show emotion

  • 1:35 Michael brings Sam on-stage and lifts him in a moment of unrestrained joy.

    TIP. Be spontaneous

  • 1:50 Michael directs Sam where to stand, but into the microphone so everyone can hear.

    TIP. Never forget your audience

  • 2:10 Michael draws the rest of the audience in.

    TIP. Use gestures as well as voice

  • 2:20 Michael steps aside, leaving the stage to Sam.

    TIP. Be generous

It may have been an unplanned, unscripted occurrence, but Michael remains in control of what happens throughout – to Sam, to the microphone, to the band, and to the audience. As a result, over 4.5m people have shared the video and fallen a little bit in love with him.

We can learn something from Sam’s performance, too.

  • When you get a chance to showcase your skill, take it
  • Be brave, and make eye contact with the audience
  • Relax, and don’t try too hard

Watch and learn.

*I’ve recently been accepted as a fully fledged Member, one of less than 200 in the country.

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