The speaker walks to the front of the room. He is well dressed and well groomed. He turns and faces the audience. As he starts to speak, his voice is strong, clear and concise. He uses good language and his words are well chosen. He is skilled at vocal variety and the use of the pause. He makes good eye contact with all audience members. His speech is well organized with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
When his speech is done, he has not uttered an um or an ah and his grammar is perfect. The audience applauds. He sits down.
Nothing has changed. His audience is not moved.
While his performance was flawless, his impact was nil.
The next speaker comes up on stage, dressed in jeans and a tee shirt. His hair is a mess and one shoe is untied. He is clearly not prepared. Yet as he begins to speak, the audience is drawn in. His story is powerful. There is drama, mystery, and intrigue. His speech is full of slang, and his grammar is rough, but something resonates with the audience. For seven minutes he has everyone’s undivided attention.
As he concludes, the audience applauds wildly.
There is a commotion in the seats.
People are changed.
The difference between the two speeches is amazing.
The first is performed to perfection, yet the words are hollow. There is no story, just facts and figures. It’s as if Joe Friday was speaking… just the facts ma’am.
The second speech is rough, yet is spoken from the heart. There is an intense story being told, full of adventure, danger, and spectacular drama.
The first speech was flat.
The second speech had contrast. Lots of contrast.
Contrast builds interest, contrast draws you in.
Contrast brings you to the edge of your seat and won’t let you go until the end.
You can have the finest crafted speech in the world, but if it doesn’t have contrast, it dies!
One of the top speaking secrets of the masters is this.
Add contrast and win!