Sunday, March 17, 2013

Narendra Modi, Presentation Skills

This is the latest speech by Narendra Modi which was delivered yesterday at the India Today Conclave. Much analysis has been carried out on this speech, but here is a different perspective.

I have written about Presentation skills - and to me this is a video that touches upon almost all aspects of presentation skills. For someone who wants to learn public speaking, presentation skills this speech is a great example. It is well worth your time, if you want to see presentation skills in action (and the bonus of a great speech).

The speech is largely in Hindi, though there are parts in English as well.  Mr. Modi uses a video at the start (which is missing here) - so the speech uses other media as well - surprising the audience - since politicians arent generally given to videos. That initial video has made the audience look forward to more.

The speech is extempore - which can only happen when one knows the subject thoroughly. I personally don't know how much Mr. Modi practices his speaking skills - though his oratory skills are legendary. But without subject matter expertise, such a speech will not last. The speech is mostly about his experience, but weaves in anecdotes and stories well.

Throughout the speech, he connects with the audience -
  • He jokes about himself (self deprecatory humour is a great way to win your audience over) and politicians
  • Exhorts them to answer (if only to prevent them from sleeping, he says) 
  • Takes their permission when he feels he may go over time (respect the audience, not taking them for granted)
  • Pauses for effect (especially when making a subtle dig at the current state of governance) - for the point to sink in
  • Motivates the audience
  • Mentions someone in the audience who has done business with his state to reinforce his point
  • Gives short memorable takeaways - action not acts. (In an earlier speech he has used simple points like India First, P2G2 - Pro People, Good Governance - depending on the audience.)
  • Even his vision was simple - like Privatization of railways for example, Moving India from a buyer of defence equipment to a supplier etc.
  • His actionables were simple - what we can do about it - as simple as they come. It is important to keep the message simple.
Even though the story is about his experience, the speech is not about himself - it is about the audience - it is about people - it is about stories - and tthat keeps people interested.

Also, Modi remains himself. He does not change his language to connect with his audience - he speaks in chaste Hindi. This is an important aspect of presentation skills and public speaking - it is very important to be yourself.

Overall, a great presentation skills coaching video.

1 comment:

  1. Neel, i could not play the video. Blocked in this country due to copyright grounds:-(


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