The SPICE Formula of Sensational Speaking
C Is For Confident Delivery
In 2008, Hilke Plassman,
associate professor of marketing at INSEAD Business
School near Paris, conducted an experiment on wine
connoisseurs whereby he placed false price tags on
bottles of the same Cabernet Sauvignon. In this blind
taste test, some of the bottles of wine appeared to be
priced at $10, while other bottles were listed at $90.
Volunteers, who were unaware of the experiment,
proceeded to give a considerably higher rating to the
$90 bottles of wine than to the $10 bottles, even though
they both contained the exact same wine.
But, it doesnít stop there.
During a functional MRI scan, Plassman discovered there
was a difference in the neural activity deep within the
brain when the volunteers drank the wine. Not only did
the ďcheaperĒ wine taste cheaper to the volunteers, the
pricier wine generated increased activity in the medial
orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain that
responds to pleasurable experiences.
So what does this have to do with
public speaking? Everything!
Fairly or not, your audience is
going to pass an initial judgment on you the second you
walk onto that stage, and this initial judgment of you
will reflect on the posture with which you take to that
stage. If you present yourself as a $90 bottle of fine
wine, youíll be perceived as such by your audience. If
you present yourself as a $10 bottle of cheap table
wine, well, I think you get the point.
Youíve probably been told that
even though you may feel self-conscious and nervous when
you give a speech, your audience canít always tell
youíre nervous unless you give it away somehow. Thatís
generally the case, and, unless you make it obvious to
them, your audience will not usually detect your
nervousness. However, what they can always detect is a
healthy sense of confidence. Your audience can detect
it, and they like it, even at the neurological level.
One student in my training
program was very shy and timid when she spoke before an
audience, but she was not nearly as shy when speaking
one-on-one in normal conversation. She told me she felt
that it was improper to appear too confident while
speaking in public because she felt her audience would
perceive her as being conceited. The problem was that
her audience had a difficult time accepting her as a
trusted source because she appeared to have little
confidence in herself and in her message.
Conceit and confidence are not
the same thing. Conceit is a strange disease; it makes
everyone sick except the one who has it. When I talk
about confidence, Iím not talking about an
over-inflated, ďI am the greatestĒ ego, Iím talking
about a healthy self-image and a solid belief in your
message and your ability to deliver it. So the question
is, how does one build that level of confidence? Well,
there are three ways you can position yourself to help
you gain the confidence you need as a public speaker.
The three ways to position yourself are: As an expert,
as a reporter and as a philosopher. Each of these
positions is covered by the next three points,
So, whatís the lesson? The exact
same wine can taste different if itís presented in a $90
bottle of wine and a $10 bottle of wine.