Mette Højen is a rhetoric expert and keynote speaker based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is also professional trumpet player and very interested in conductors’ rhetoric and leadership.
Lifetime best opening
Opening for Mette’s keynote speech “Emotions” at PSA World Conference (New York, May 2014):
“There is a powerful moment just before a classical concert is about to begin.
That is when the orchestra is testing and warming up the instruments, turning the pages of the sheet music. All is an undisciplined cacophony of voices, sounds, chords and rhythms.
The conductor appears, and faces his audience – the musicians.
Suddenly he does a small gesture, nothing pomp, nothing sophisticated. Just a small gesture.
Chaos becomes order, noise becomes music, leadership becomes power.
Leadership and power is exactly what my talk today will focus on.
The leaders’ most important tool when facing an audience–that could be employees, clients, press–is the power of emotions and how to demand emotional response. And emotional response is what the conductor gets real time when the musicians are playing. That is true power. …”
Her stage fright moment
Mette was 12 years old. She was planning to say an introduction of a piece she was about to perform in a concert. The moment arrived and she didn’t know what to say. That inspired her to dig into the public speaking sphere.
The importance of audience participation
Audience participation is important because: (1) the audience determines our success, (2) the audience gives us credibility as speakers, (3) the speaker must be present without being in the center.
Techniques for audience participation
The best techniques for audience participation are:
1. Puzzle-solution structure. People love listen to secrets.
2. Ask questions. If you expect an answer, make it clear.
3. Bring in reflections from the corridor, the previous speaker, etc. Give life to the speech.
“Don’t tell people everything you want them to know. Tell them the one thing you want them to remember.” – Thomas Rosshirt
Lend me your ears by Max Atkinson
Routine to Shine
“The panopticon exercise”, inspired by the entrance of orchestra conductors. When you enter to the stage, look to the audience full 180 degrees before you say a word.