If you ever find yourself struggling to read a crumpled piece of paper – labelled a “Just In Case Speech” – be aware that it’s not the conventional way to make a great presentation.
This is because the conventional view is that looking down at your notes detracts from your eye contact with audience members – and makes you look less than spontaneous.
And relying on so-called “Just In Case” notes is a particularly risky breach of convention if you also need to capture the attention of hundreds of thousands more watching you live on TV.
BUT if you’re a multi-award-winning actress – who is highly skilled at maximising your splash – then you might just be able to get away with the piece of paper thing.
This is what Kate Winslet has just done and, despite convention – WOW – did she make an impact!!!
Kate Winslet’s latest award-acceptance speech was so powerful, it’s worth looking at some of the things she did to ensure that her performance gained maximum attention.
The occasion was the annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards where the treasured “BAFTA” trophies are distributed.
And Kate Winslet’s on-stage acceptance speech for winning the ‘Leading Actress BAFTA’ is one that will long be remembered.
The fact that she tore through the conventional rules by placing her notes – entitled “BAFTA Just In Case Speech” – next to the trophy on the lectern added to the memorability of the moment.
It was one of those situations where she was well aware of the conventional rules.
And she shredded those rules with aplomb, seeming to know full well what she was doing!
Another part of Kate Winslet’s conventional-breaking was that, when her winning name was read out, she didn’t immediately break into the traditional beaming smile.
Instead, she looked as though everyone she loves in the world had just been gunned down by terrorists.
But being one of the finest actresses of our time, Kate Winslet knows how to display emotion – and to engender it in others – in order to make an impact!!!
PRESENTING WITH CONFIDENCE, IMPACT & PIZZAZZ – WITHOUT NOTES
Now those who’ve been in my sessions on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact & Pizzazz” will know that I do whatever I can to persuade participants to avoid reading their presentation from notes.
A few tiny cards with several reminder words or minute pictures – that are almost invisible to the audience – is the most I’m happy to allow… to enable you to shine out at your best.
I prefer you to have your messages and stories well-rehearsed in your head, rather than scribbled on a piece of paper upon which you look dependent.
But Kate Winslet knew that by breaking conventions she’d get more attention.
And having a document labelled “BAFTA Just In Case Speech” proved, amidst her tears, to be rather amusing.
Also, Kate Winslet did something to help her get away with this note-brandishing approach, which was to trigger that powerful weapon: audience emotion!!!
Have a peek on the video below to watch how she achieved that.
Be aware that my aim for all presentation students is for you, wherever appropriate, to successfully tap into the emotions of your audience.
I’d rather you didn’t cry on stage.
But we can both be delighted if you move your audience members to visibly show their emotions!
IN EVERY PRESENTATION, CONVEY YOUR MESSAGES
The other thing which is highly commendable about the Kate Winslet performance is that – despite the emotions she is feeling herself and prompting in her audience – she still conveys key messages that are so important.
It’s common for people receiving awards to focus entirely on how “delighted” they are – and thereby waste an opportunity to project one or more vital messages.
But, thanks in part to her notes Kate Winslet fully capitalises on her spotlight moment in message-projecting terms.
Importantly she gets across messages to – and about – others on her team.
These are the director, Dominic Savage (right) and to her co-starring daughter, Mia Threapleton (left) – as highlighted by the BBC cameras.
As these two are in the audience, we can see that the Kate Winslet performance moves both of them – and, by sharing the glory with them, excites the other audience members.
There’s also her early message about the creative industries where she asserts that their team’s winning programme shows that “Small British television dramas can still be mighty!”.
And as the programme – Channel 4’s drama “I Am Ruth” – highlights the dangers that harmful online content poses to children, Kate Winslet grabbed the opportunity to convey two messages on this which came across ever-so-powerfully.
The first is encapsulated in these words:
“To people in power, and to people who can make change, please, criminalise harmful content!”
This is in line with campaigning by the Molly Rose Foundation – set up following the death of British teenager Molly Russell – who took her own life after viewing horrendous online material relating to self-harm and suicide.
And there was another vital message that Kate Winslet conveyed directly to those around Molly’s age.
“To any young person who may be listening – who feels they may be trapped in an unhealthy world – please ask for help!”
PRESENTING WITH CONFIDENCE, IMPACT & PIZZAZZ – WITHOUT TEARS (FROM YOU!)
Presentations of all sizes and on all occasions are always an opportunity to convey the right messages to your audience.
This is something at the heart of all sessions I run on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact & Pizzazz” – for teams, individuals and business leaders’ groups.
There’s more information about these sessions here:
And for your very short presentation opportunities – where you only have a minute to make your point – there’s information about sessions on “Your Message In 60 Seconds” at:
Alas – shockingly perhaps – I’m not qualified to run sessions on how you can win a BAFTA.
If that’s what you’re chasing, Kate Winslet is the one to approach!
But if you need to be more prepared to make a “just in case” speech for any situation – or to give a presentation that you know you must make – email me to line up a time to discuss it:
I can be booked to come along and give guidance on presentation skills for you and your team.
And we may even find a glamorous gutsy volunteer from amongst your team whose presenting approach we can upgrade in front of the group – so everyone can learn from it.
In this way, everyone involved will find that that “Presenting With Confidence, Impact & Pizzazz” – without the need for any crumpled “Just In Case” notes – is a very learnable skill!