To celebrate the upcoming release of Avengers Infinity Wars, we’ve compiled for you a list of top 7 awesome quotes from past Avengers movies you can use in your next presentation.
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On number 7, we have a quote from Loki, I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose.
You can use this quote to answer the most common question “Who are you?”. Especially if you have trouble in breaking the ice and feel somewhat awkward explaining what you do, saying that you are Loki of Asgard is also a very Loki thing to do, don’t you think?
The next quote comes from Bruce Banner: That’s my secret, Captain: I’m always angry.
Use this quote to help describe that you’re always ready to jump on opportunities to solve a problem, or to get going, or to do anything necessary to get the job done.
We have Hawkeye this time: We’re fighting an army of robots, And I got a bow and arrow.
You can use this quote for a climactic point in your storytelling, when things seem to be hopeless. Like a project that’s overdue, or the team gets overwhelmed.
Ironman is on number 4: Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.
You can use it when explaining something ambitious. In terms of placement, this quote is versatile. Use it almost anywhere in your presentation, in the beginning, middle or end.
This time we have a quote from Black Widow. Romanoff says Now, go be a hero.
If you’re ending a presentation, and want a strong call to action, this quote is perfect for you.
On number 2, we have Ironman again. Loki says I have an army, for what Tony Stark replies We have a Hulk.
Best to use it if you’re presenting only one example for explaining your point. This quote highlights that you’re presenting a very good one.
And for the number 1, it’s the classic line from the first Avengers movie. Captain America: Stark we need a plan of attack!
Tony Stark/Iron Man: I have a plan. Attack!
Use this quote on a standard presentation structure when you have two sections such as Planning and Doing. You can describe what a project should be, and then talk about how the project unfolds in reality.
Introduce the Doing section with this quote will make your presentation much more engaging.
So that’s our list. What do you think? Leave your comments below with your thoughts and other quotes you like from Avengers. If you like this video or what we’re trying to do with this channel, hit that like button. If you’re new, hit that subscribe button.
Also subscribe to our newsletters on getsandwi.ch to get free e-book on how to push your own presentation to the next level. If you need more help with selling, pitching or presenting for your team then feel free to book a completely free introductory call with me today. I can learn about your current challenges in the team, and together we can create better culture for communicating in the workplace.
Sun Tzu says, “Know thine enemy”. Here at Get Sandwich we say, “know thine audience”, while you shouldn’t think of your audience as an enemy, when making a speech, still a good idea, to have a plan of attack. This video will help you determine what kind of audience you have so that you can progress to the next stage and start thinking about what to do about it.
Because being able to anticipate the response your audience will have will help you when you start to plan the writing of your speeches and could be the factor that decides whether your jokes fall flat or that clever story that sounds so good in your head actually works or not.
The Receptive Audience
The first kind of audience, the receptive audience. They are eager to listen, open to your ideas and quite possibly on your side even before you step on to the stage.
They might be members of a club to which you belong where you are talking about something that interests them or co-workers and you are explaining how a new system works that will make your group’s lives easier. It could also be an audience that doesn’t know you but you are the first speaker of the day and they are alert and open to new ideas.
The key to identifying a receptive audience is that:
they are open to your ideas,
they have are willing to pay attention to you whilst you speak.
The Hostile Audience
The next kind of audience you might encounter: the hostile audience.
They might be the people you are responsible for at work as you explain a change that will cause uncertainty in their lives, or when you are speaking at a club or organisation where you are trying to persuade people of diff opinions on a sensitive topic about your views. They might be people who want answers regarding something that has gone wrong, something that quite possibly wasn’t your fault personally, but requires you to diffuse the situation.
So to summarise hostile audiences:
are not open to your ideas,
are possibly looking to find fault in what you say,
but crucially, they are keen to hear what you have to say, even if they are not interested in listening to you.
The Apathetic Audience
The third kind of audience is in some ways the hardest one: the apathetic audience.
They could have heard five speeches already today and whilst yours would otherwise be interesting for them, they just don’t have the attention to give you. Perhaps the topic just doesn’t seem relevant to them even if their managers think it is. Perhaps they have had bad experiences with public speakers before and automatically switch off in lectures.
Apathetic audiences can be characterised as so that:
the ideas being communicated rarely make it through to the listener because they aren’t paying attention,
they are neither receptive nor hostile but could potentially be either.
Which One Do You Have?
A good question to ask when trying to think about what kind of audience you will present to is:
When I step on to the stage and start speaking, do the audience want to hear what it is that I have to say?
If yes, then you have a receptive audience,
if no, then you have a hostile audience,
and if you think they won’t care, then you have an apathetic audience.
We have thought long and hard about this question. Mainly because it underpins everything we do here at Get Sandwich.
Learning to speak well is difficult because it requires a lot of the right kind of practice. There is usually a lot of theory on how to speak well, like what to do to structure an informational talk or persuasive talk, but not enough examples to put them in context (like when you are selling, or you are teaching a group of teenagers), and certainly people don’t practice enough before they present.
When we ask people why they want to improve their speaking, the common answers are: “I want to be more confident”, or “I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to present at work”. These “goals”, although good starting positions, should go several steps further to be useful.
For example, in your personal life, if you want to be more confident in social gatherings, it would make sense to train yourself on being able to talk about the newspaper headlines of the day for about two minutes, just enough to break the ice with your acquaintances that day.
If you are aiming to present at work, it will make sense to think about how long is the usual presentation. If it’s 10 minutes, then that’s great. You have a format where you can train your talk.
With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to our framework we use internally, here at Get Sandwich. It’s easy to remember because it’s called RITE. You know, the RITE of passage, or the RITE way. RITE stands for:
Record every talk. Never waste your one-off talks. Mobile phone storage is so cheap these days, there is no reason not to. Recording yourself allows you to have an objective view of how you currently speak.
Identify your audience. Ask what is the number one place you’d like to speak better? Is it at work? Is it for a conference? Figure out how your talk should help the audience best by deciding on the appropriate content, style and format.
Train every day. Eleanor Roosevelt says, “Do one thing that scares you every day.”, If speaking is your kryptonite, train by recording yourself every day. If not, still do it anyway to create a good speaking habit.
Evaluate by getting feedback. This is usually the hardest part, but we’ve built Get Sandwich for you to do this. Upload your recording and share it with your trusty friends to get some quick feedback on what to do next. Getting quality feedback is the fastest way to improve your speaking.
I’ll give you an example of how I do this myself.
I’ve booked my next Toastmasters speech in September, and I’m anxious about it, so I’ve started practising by answering a two-minutes question of “What’s the one thing people in Toastmasters should know to make their lives better?”. Toastmasters is a public speaking meetup. Its audience comes from many disciplines so I cannot have any jargons in my speech. I also know the format of the talk, it’s 7 minutes max, with minimal slides.
When I have a good idea of what I should talk about, I will record a 7-minute talk, and ask for feedback from others to improve the quality of my rehearsals.
The steps here are important, especially number #1: Record every talk. In our experience, there is a huge improvement curve observed simply by recording your talks, even before identifying the audience.
It’s good to have a baseline of how you speak normally by re-watching yourself. Specifically your pace, your natural facial expressions and your tone of voice. Without the recording, it’s very difficult to pick the next thing to improve. It could be the structure of your message needs more clarity, or it could well be increasing the articulation of your words. So that it’s easier to digest.
We build Get Sandwich to help you do these four steps because we believe it’s the be all and end all. You can speak better, by speaking more. Not by writing more, nor by learning better grammar. Every single improvement you take should stem from the evaluation you get on the recorded talks you have done; otherwise, it’ll be a premature optimisation. Taken from computer science, premature optimisation means that you are fixing aspects of your speaking that may not matter as much; as a result, you are missing out on the biggest thing you can do to get better fast.
She’s been in many good movies lately but what I didn’t know was that she used to get panic attacks and suffered from debilitating shyness. At the age of seven, her parents put her through therapy to reduce it. Despite this, she persisted through—who can forget the best lip sync session of all time with 78 million views on Youtube and counting.
In that clip, shy is the last word you can describe her performance with. What makes the lip sync looks so real is that she knows where the cameras are. She works the cameras, she knows how it’ll look to the audience.
Knowing how you look on camera is essential for any stage performer, including public speakers! It does not lie, and it’s the end result that the audience see. It gives real-time feedback, and feedback is very important in deliberate practice to improve public speaking.
Watching yourself is a form of deliberate practice
In the book, Ericsson describes an unusual type of practice usually done by world-class athletes as deliberate practice. It has a well-defined, specific goals. It is focused and involves feedback. One of the easiest ways to determine whether something is deliberate practice is whether it requires getting out of one’s comfort zone.
Getting out of one’s comfort zone.
I imagine you’re cringing while reading this, which also happens to be a common reaction when you watch yourself on camera for the first time! It’s uncomfortable because we see our flaws much more clearly as an audience. And yet, watching yourself on video is a critical component in deliberate practice because it gives you feedback on how you speak and how you move. The way you act on the video is the way people see you in real life, and therefore this is the version everyone sees, and the version you want to improve.
Why people cringe: a primer
When you watch your own video for the first time, the discomfort will be caused by a cognitive dissonance between the predetermined ideal you have of yourself and the reality. The reality of how you look and sound is made up of many versions, many angles. But nevertheless, the version you have in your mind is most likely different to what was captured by the camera. To illustrate this, let’s look at the photos below:
Paris Hilton’s face is asymmetric, her left eye is much smaller than her right, so when you flip the photo, it looks weird. It’s a different version than the one we are used to. Flip your own selfie, and you will also find yourself cringing.
What can we do to reduce it?
Olympic athletes watch their own performance all the time because this is one of the fastest ways to improve using material they already have. The technique I would suggest involves recording yourself, and watching it multiple times until you don’t dread it as much anymore.
First, you should read this sentence and record yourself using a mobile phone:
Hi, my name is <name>. Today, I am fearless. Words and thoughts come easily to me and I enjoy hearing the sound of my own voice. I’m confident and comfortable. My words will have a positive effect on other people. I have so much to say and I can’t wait to practice this new skill of public speaking!2
If you don’t like the sentence above, just record your own script for about 30 seconds. You don’t need to look at the camera, no need for it to be perfect. Mine looks and sounds horrible too.
Expect it to be weird
Now, we just need to watch it. Urgh, expect it to be weird. That’s right. Like Gollum below.
(Video via [WingNut Films / justlotsofgifs.tumblr.com])
Compare yourself with Gollum. Aren’t you less weird than him? Good.
Download the video you’ve just recorded to your computer, and make sure you watch it with a good set of speakers. Watching and hearing it directly on your phone is not a good idea. The phone speaker tends to not have enough bass to do justice to your real voice – everyone, even Stevie Wonder, sounds quite pitchy when bad speakers are involved.
Having a glass of wine before this exercise would help too . Bring some cookies or popcorn if it still does not feel festive enough. To deal with your inner critic, you can go through Buzzfeed’s list of 51 Thoughts You Have When You See Yourself on Video. You are not alone in thinking those self-sabotaging thoughts. Everyone goes through the same thing.
It takes persistence
Doing this once is great, but to reduce it more, you will need to set a schedule to listen to your video repeatedly. Use this as a tool to analyse what you would like to focus on next in your public speaking. All it takes is a little time, and persistence.
Imagine a different universe where Emma Stone didn’t solve her problem. She wouldn’t have improved much as an actor, and there wouldn’t be a La La Land. Scott Berkun in Confessions of a Public Speaker says:
If you are too scared to watch yourself speak, how can you expect your audience to watch you?
Our memory is selective. I was recently asked if there was a speaker I aspired to for delivery style, and I answered with Andrew Solomon—I’d watched his TED talk countless times, although I hadn’t done so for a while when I got the question. I told him that Andrew’s delivery was fantastic, impactful, and memorable. I couldn’t remember what technique he used, but I assured my friend that it was worth watching the TED talk.
But when I came home and watched the same talk for the umpteenth time, I was surprised to see that his delivery was not particularly exceptional. In fact, he tended to raise his chin up a little too much that if you were sitting in the audience in front of him, you might feel left out. The content of his speech was such a pleasure to watch that I hardly paid attention to how he performed on stage.
On other speeches, it was the opposite. Quite often, I don’t know what was it exactly that made me so bored, but I know I would rather watch the next McDonald’s ads on TV rather than listen until the end. I wondered if I could recall the opposite of what actually happened when I watched other people, then what about my own speech? It’s possible that my recollection was affected more by whether I’ve had a bad day rather than my performance.
I’m afraid that if my speeches weren’t what I thought they were, then how can I use my memory to improve my skill? Besides, I know when the stakes are higher, such as in a speaking competition, I tend to be a harsher critic of my own work. Even if I do well, I will more likely to remember all the little blunders I should not have made.
Dale Carnegie wrote in Public Speaking for Success:
Good speakers usually find when they finish that there have been four versions of the speech: the one they delivered, the one they prepared, the one the newspapers say was delivered, and the one on the way home they wish they had delivered.
He is referring to the four distinct memories of speeches. Bad, fading memories and multiple testimonies contradict each other. Because of this, many people don’t get better after they present publicly. How do you know if the butterfly on your stomach was caused by the speech you did and not your hungry belly? Imagine if you can do what I did with Andrew Solomon’s TED talk earlier. Like in a conference where everything is recorded, you don’t have to rely on your memory or other people’s as the only witnesses anymore.
We have new shiny tools now
A decade ago, we just got smart phones, and video recording was something you needed specialised equipment for. A decade ago, we didn’t have Youtube, but now we are spoilt for choice when deciding what to watch. Recording and sharing videos are no longer activities limited to professional videographers. Today, the technology is literally in the palm of our hands, and we can certainly make good use of it. If you have a bad memory, then we have a device that will make it irrelevant—just like being short-sighted was not a thing anymore after glasses were made accessible.
In 2010, a group of 16 graduate students at Buffalo State College were divided into two groups and asked to deliver two 10 minute presentations each, one month apart.1 The control group was asked to do self-assessments after every session, while the treatment group did the same but with the help of video recording. The students in the treatment group found it easy to plan what to improve on the second presentation whereas the students in the control group were not so sure about how their presentation went. The researcher noted that not having the video deprived the students of being able to see any errors.
You’re your own worst critic
In the same study, the students were also asked to do peer-assessments on others. The study also found that the self-assessment scores were lower than the peer-assessments scores in general, regardless of whether they were in the control or treatment group. With or without video recordings, the students were their own worst critics.
It is important, therefore, to keep an objective leash on how you think about your own delivery. Having a video would allow you to look at yourself as an impartial observer would. See yourself with fresh eyes. How you thought you moved on stage could be very different to how you actually moved! Rewind as many times as you like to find phrases that are hard to pronounce, dips in energy levels, opportunities for tone variations and much more. Pick one that frustrates you the most, then set a goal to improve it for the next speech.
Once you become used to recording your speech, you will be able to measure your current skill level, set a goal on what to improve next, then assess your progress accordingly. Keep a firm plan and make smaller circles,2 that’s how you will improve.
Every little thing matters
Every single time you rewatch your speech, you’re bound to form a second opinion about it. Why does this matter? It matters because public speaking is a highly personal skill. Michelle Obama’s passionate gestures may not be for you, but Nelson Mandela’s slow pace in speaking may work for you. If it does, steal it like an artist.3
It takes five minutes to record, an hour to analyse and a lifetime to benefit from. A video that can be replayed over and over again is a source of inspiration when you ask that same question ever so often: what can I improve on now?
GUO, Ruth Xiaoqing. “The use of video recordings as an effective tool to improve presentation skills.” (2013).
Josh Waitzkin states the notion of learning as “making smaller circles” where the learner uses the new knowledge she just learned and push it into her unconscious mind. Once that happen, she can progress to add more depth to her learning.
Austin Kleon in his book, Steal Like an Artist advocates for seeing any creative work as a collection of great ideas stolen from other artists.