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Speak so Your Audience Will Listen by Robin Kermode - 3 Big Ideas

Learn body language, rhythm, confidence, voice resonance and talk structure -- and become the best wedding speaker on this side of Chattanooga.


Welcome to the 3 Things Show, where Maddi and I categorize the world of knowledge, through books, three things at a time. This week's book is Speak So Your Audience Will Listen, by Robin Kermode.

This book is 226 pages paperback and 4 hours 33 minutes audible.

It is described on Amazon as follows,

"SPEAK (so your audience will listen) is a book for anyone who has to deliver a message, tell a story - or speak to another human being. Most of us are quite relaxed and confident when we're with our friends and family. We can tell a story or even tell a joke. But put us on a platform and we can feel very different. When we speak to an audience, we often put on a public mask … and use a different voice. Why can’t we seem to be ourselves when we give a talk?

In this book we will look at all aspects of spoken communication, from structure right through to delivery. We will learn how to have a conversation with our audience - to be ourselves - so that we connect with them every time we speak. In 7 simple steps you can learn to be a confident and successful public speaker. There are specific exercises at the end of every section for you to practice.

Whether you’re a CEO presenting to shareholders, a manager motivating your team, an entrepreneur selling a business, a creative pitching an idea, a charity worker asking for donations or a parent speaking at your daughter’s wedding, this book will help you become a confident and successful public speaker, so that when you speak, your audience will listen. And, hopefully, you'll enjoy the experience too."

So... What are three things we can use from this book?

3 Things You Can Use

1. The Clench

I want to be confident, you say.

Is there anything that all confident people have in common?


I've got good news. Straight from the mouth of the author of this book, Robin Kermode.

One thing that all confident people have in common is they all have a low center of gravity.

This might seem like a metaphor. That literally walking chest first isn't actually a sign of low confidence. But it is not a metaphor. Robin Kermode says that people whose centers of gravity are high, are compensating and looking arrogant or too obvious -- sticking chest out past the norm.

Robin Kermode tells us that a low center of gravity will not only help us look more confident, but it will help us feel and sound more confident.

Achieving a low center of gravity is both odd... and easy. All it takes is a simple clench. Tighten your glutes or thighs when standing still and you will instantly lower your center of gravity. And it's unnoticeable to the common observer. I'm doing it right now.

He states this will really work, and is well-known in actor's circles.

Among other things, clenching will also reduce nerves by sending blood to the brain and removing tension from other parts of the body.

So the next time you go to talk t0 a pretty boy or girl -- boost your confidence and clench.

2. Humpty Dumpty

Ever wanted to be a voice actor?

Well, Robin Kermode says that the best tongue and mouth exercise in the world is as simple as reciting the humpty dumpty nursery rhyme. But there's a catch...

For this exercise to work, you must be sticking your tongue out as far as you can the whole time, enunciating every word to the best of your ability and trying to bring the sound from the depths of your stomach.

If you get this book in the audio form you will actually hear Robin do it himself. I'm no voice actor so you won't hear me do it -- I sound enough like an idiot as it is.

This exercise prepares your voice by, adding more depth, resonance and volume, working out your face and tongue and opening your throat.

He says you can alternatively just count to 20 with your tongue out -- but he and most others say that if you're going to have your tongue all the way out of your face, you might as well be saying Humpty Dumpty too.

3. What do I do with my Hands!?

Oh yeah. The most common issue in the world of nervous public speakers.

"Whose hands are these?"

"What are they doing here?"

"Where do they go!?"

In the pockets? No. At least not during the first impression. It may make you look relaxed -- but it also makes you look like you're hiding something and it looks like you are trying to give off the impression that you are relaxed... but you're really not.

Cross the arms? No. Don't do this in the first few minutes either. This is closed body language. Your body language should bring people in, not provide a barrier.

Hanging by sides? No. Who does that in real life? This may go through your mind... Don't worry about the hands, just hang them like normal and keep talking. But this is not normal. It seems weird and makes you look like an orangutan.

The best way to have your hands is to have them lightly clasped in front of you, right below your belly button. This protects your emotional center, your gut, and makes you look open and feel protected and it provides the mobility to move your arms around when emphasizing.


For an instant boost in confidence and a relaxing of nerves, clench your buttocks or thighs

For more resonance, depth and volume in your voice, recite Humpty Dumpty with your tongue sticking out.

Don't freak out when you suddenly realize that you have hands -- just place them together at the front of your body, slightly below your belly button.

This book may have been a shorter book -- but man was it packed. The whole time I was listening at work I was taking notes and pausing and taking notes. So while I had less listening time overall, I spent so much more time writing.

The subtitle is 7 Steps to Confident and Successful Public Speaking, and this is accurate. But each step is really more of a concept and each concept has like 10-20 tips. So the subtitle I would write would say, 5,000 ways to improve your public speaking, in 7 different areas.

I loved this book. I found it super helpful. He really does bash away all of the common pitfalls and misconceptions of speaking in public and gives you an educated actor's tips, tricks and perspectives on every aspect.

Be sure to get the book and to check out, his website.

Put these three things to use next time you are out there in the world!

Go get the book for more tips!

Thanks for watching, we'll see you next week!

Want to Read it?

Audible Free Trial (get this book for free!)

Speak So Your Audience Will Listen (Audible Version)

Speak So Your Audience Will Listen (Physical Copy)

(disclosure: ^^^ these links give me a commission -- at no extra cost to you! They just give me a little bump if you decide to use them. Thank you!)


Punching Sounds (in video) by: Mike Koenig

Reading Photo at end of video by: Marketa

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