Public Speaking Tips from Adele

by Alejandra Figueroa, Speaking Fellow ’16

By now, many of you have probably viewed Adele’s new music video for “Hello.” If you haven’t, you must. Many of you might also be wondering how you could draw public speaking lessons from Adele. Bear with me…

Content Matters

  • If you watch Adele’s “Hello” music video, there are no pyrotechnics. She doesn’t require backup dancers. She relies on her talent. This is the first tip we can take from her. Rely on what you have to say instead of showing off your Power Point and Prezi skills. As much as a compelling visual enhances your presentation, a visual is intended to ENHANCE and not REPLACE your presentation. Your content matters.

    Stylistically, Adele makes eye contact with the camera. This might seem like a small action, but eye contact draws an audience in, so make eye contact with those in the room throughout your presentation. This is also helpful during interviews. Last but not least, we have Adele’s powerful and beautiful voice throughout the music video, which is what caused the video to go viral. Yet another tip from Adele is understanding the power of your voice. As Speaking Fellows, we discuss the importance of style. Projecting your voice and making sure you are heard, while using natural gestures, is also crucial and can “make it or break it” for that speech or presentation to deliver in class.

Be Natural

  • The biggest lesson from Adele is to be yourself and be natural. One of the reasons Adele is so popular is because she relies on her raw talent rather than the pyrotechnics and special effects so many other artists use. Allow your personality to show in a setting you have to speak. Feel free to use humor or present interesting facts. If something isn’t in your script but you feel it adds to what you have to say, go ahead and say it. While practice is important, there is a fine line between being prepared and sounding rehearsed. To be impromptu is as helpful as to be prepared.
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