Become a Purple Peacock and other Public Speaking Lessons Inspired by Robin Williams

RWIt’d be hard to find an actor or comedian in Hollywood that canvassed the spirit of authenticity as real as Robin did.   Robin captivated the innocence of laughter.  He was a man of many faces; brilliant, comical and a spiritual force in the world of entertainment.

It’s also rare that comedy transcends and touches the heart of multiple generations. From Mrs. Doubtfire to Aladin, the sheer rawness and shameless wreckage of sentences, quirks, motions and emotions that Robin translated through his comedy were enough to leave any aspiring public speaker or comedian in awe of his magic.

Public speaking is more than just a skill, it’s an art form. Like the surrealist, boho and modern day abstract, being a kick butt presenter requires effortlessness, dynamism and dropping bombs of absolute awesomeness.  A working canvas and a contemporary dance, public speaking is self expression at it’s most verbal and pervasive.  Here’s what Robin Williams taught me about this particular art form.

1.   Touch your audience – Touch them emotionally and physically. Treat your presentation as a dynamic and collaborative conversation. This will evoke a sensation in your audience of being engaged and uplifted. Have fun, whether it’s wild, subtle or professional.

2.   Become a Purple Peacock – Let your eyes carefully scrawl the room. Be flamboyant, vivacious, stylish and expressive. Ruffle your feathers with purpose and expand your conversation with sophistication. Be flashy.

3.   Stuff stuff up – In the world of public speaking, there’s one thing that’s imminent, you’re going to stuff up!  Allow it to happen naturally, and your personality will shine through. Make life, not worry of your public speaking deficiencies. Your audience will appreciate how human you are.

4.   Scuber dive –Dive into yourself  without forgetting your plan. Strut your ways, highlight your quirks, laugh, fumble and stutter if you need to.  When you public speak as an artist, it’s about depth, movement, realism and connectivity.

5.   Score a half court shot– In all your awkward confidence, don’t forget to deliver. Know your key messages before you enter the domain.  Keep it efficient, and highlight key messages.  Do it simply and the audience will see you in the right expressive vein.

6.   Mood Swing – Run rapidly across the room or walk slowly with grace. Tap someone lightly on the shoulder or give someone a massive high five.  Shed a tear or do a star jump.  Listen acutely for noises in the crowd, read your audience and play on the mood. Become a puppet master.

These six easy steps provide segways into upstanding a presentation that is dynamic, creative and memorable.  If you  love presenting, but are prone to episodes of delusion and stage fright, don’t be afraid to move into your creative space and become more expressive. Robin Williams was an entertainer, because he was always in a state of flow – creative, expressive, honest and true. Keep it real, and your audience will love you.

Ana is a Coach, Consultant & Speaker.  She helps people align consciousness with creativity, emotion with leadership and personal ethics with social responsibility. Also an athlete, Ana has played sport across most continents.  She’s President/Founder of a social impact project in Guinea West Africa, and is an advocate for young women aspiring to dream. twitter: website: 


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