Connect The Dots 08

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Boonaa Mohammed

Channel: Boonaa Mohammed

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Episode Notes

Cut out the Fat

Episode Transcript

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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah salam aleikum, wa rahmatullah wa barakatu. Brother Bona, Mohammed here on connect the dots, we're finally moving on to what I think of as the most important part of spoken word performing, which is the actual performing. Okay, spoken word is meant to be performed. This is performance poetry, this is what differentiates what I do from most literary writers or poets who's just whose work is just, you know, confined to their paper, whereas what we're doing an oral promoting is actual performance and presentation of work. So now we're gonna start talking about public speaking techniques, and how you can take your work from here to

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here in Sharla, so high up, you can even see it. Alright, the first thing to keep in mind is that public speaking can be very, very scary, it can be something that's extremely nerve wracking. And it's something that a lot of people are not very comfortable. But a horribly written poem, if it is performed very well can still be very entertaining, as opposed to a very well written poem that is performed horribly, which most likely will make sure your audience never wants to see you again. So in this scenario, what I'm explaining to you all, is that your performance is probably even more important than your writing, that's how kind of shallow this part can really be that you might spend

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so much time writing this very thought provoking piece that's going to change the way the world views everything. But if you get up on stage, and the only thing you can say, is my home that

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if you sound like you know, some kind of freak of nature on stage, right, if you sound like you're nervous, sound like you're scared, sound like you don't want to be there, then you're giving your audience an opportunity to tune you out. So you really have to work on your performance, there are a few things to keep in mind, definitely, we'll talk throughout the next few videos about how to make sure your performance is the best thing. But one of the things that you keep in mind, before even going to your event. If you've been called to an event, there's an event coming up, they've asked you to speak, you have to think about how you're going to present yourself, okay, what do you

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actually look like in front of an audience. So this seems very shallow, but people first impression of the way you dress can actually do a lot to either help you aid you in your in your cause in your goal, or it can turn people off before you even say anything, right? So if I show up to an event, it's an interfaith dialogue event, you know, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, everybody's there. And I'm wearing a T shirt that says, screw other religions. Islam is the best slap number bond, okay? If I had a shirt like that on my audience, no matter what I say, I'm like, Hey, guys, we need to build we need to work together, we need to be, you know, a positive world and community and

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humanity, they're gonna be like, Who's this loser? This hypocrite up here talking all that junk, and he has this T shirt. And it's basically saying screw all of us, right? That's an extreme example. Another thing to think about? is how you want to be perceived by your audience. Do you want to seem like somebody who's coming just off the streets? Like you just came out of a you know, serving a 10 year jail sentence, you want to look like somebody who's dressed very stylish Lee, someone who's just come off the runway from, you know, some kind of fashion show in Milan? Or do you want to look like somebody who has a more religious kind of appearance, maybe you're wearing a bow maybe you

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know, you're wearing some kind of religious garment that that shows people that you know, this is actually what's important to you, it doesn't really matter what you wear, as long as what you wear is working in unison with the message you want to put forward. This is something that a lot of people don't really think about. But I'll give you an example. For me, I really only wear phobes. When I go and present most of the events I do are kind of religious in nature. And I don't wear those every single day. But if I came to an Islamic events, maybe a fundraiser or an event that an MSA or something like that, wearing, you know, regular kind of street clothes, or what I'm wearing

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now that's kind of like Hawaiian vacation shirt. Some people subconsciously or not might even before I start speaking if they don't know who I am, kind of be like, Well, why should I take anything he's saying serious, you know, he looks like me or he looks like somebody off the streets. Whereas if I show up in it, kind of my slanted garments, my very religious piety, clothing, if I show up looking like somebody who seems like they have an ounce or an iota of religiosity to them, there is an ease in understanding what it is I'm about to say. Again, this is a hard pill to swallow. You don't want to say that people kind of judge you, by the way, by the way you look but they do. So make sure that

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you're going to dress for the occasion, dress in a way that's going to really work together with the message you want to get across. Another thing you could think about definitely from the beginning, before you even open your mouth is to smile. Smile. For some people smiling is wrong. I don't know why. But for a lot of people out there, they don't want to smile. Smiling is something that automatically will make your audience feel and comfort. They will make them feel like you're disarming them. There should be no tension, there should be no reason for them to feel like what you're about to say is not going to be something that they can appreciate.

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Because once you have them on your side, from the beginning, you can tell them anything, right? There's a lot now I can teach you about even through performance that's really from the same stream of manipulation, because you want to manipulate your audience to, again, agree with or empathize or sympathize with the point, the argument that you're putting forth in your thesis statement of your home. So these are, these are all these are things to keep in mind. And we spoke earlier about knowing your audience, once you're actually in front of your audience, you have to actually understand how to control your audience as well. So like I said, smiling is something that will get

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them on your side, cracking jokes, something that will get them on your side. But one thing that you can do consciously or subconsciously, even if they don't realize it, is that your audience when they are spread out across a room. So if there's a person sitting in one far corner, and a guy sitting in the front, and some girls in the corner here, when people are far split off from one another, it is less likely they'll be able to enjoy something in the same way collectively. So for instance, if people are next to each other, you tell a joke, and one person will laugh because they heard somebody else laughing or they'll you know, if they if they feel an emotion that somebody else is

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feeling if they hear that emotion, though, kind of kind of conjured up themselves. It's a very weird psychology, I don't really understand it myself. But people when they're together are a better audience. So one thing you want to do is you want to tell your audience members Hey, guys, before I begin, can I ask you all to move to the middle, or the middle is the place you want them to be at, you want to grab all the you know, people in the back, people who are just getting in line or grabbing their drinks, or whatever it is they're doing to come to the front, grab seats in the very middle. So you have your attention on this direct group of people, if the room is packed, Mashallah,

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you got nothing to worry about. If you're like, multimillion dollar selling recording artists as a poet, then you're chill. But in case you don't have that opportunity, and you're working with a smaller setting, or a smaller group of people, bring them together, because it makes your life a lot easier. Now something that I like to do is use my hands when I speak. And we'll talk we'll talk a little bit about body language later. But using your hands and your body is a part of what makes your message important. So you can actually request of your organizers if you have the ability to to request either a hands free microphone, or a wireless mic that you're able to just kind of clip onto

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your shirt, because that will allow you to offer more hand gestures, if not that at least ask for a kind of cordless mic. So you're not just trying to like strangle the snake on this wire, you know, running around the stage with you, but definitely want to take usage of your hands. Another thing that you should try and avoid is standing in front of furniture. If they've offered you this podium, you know, and you have the opportunity to step away from it. Definitely step away from your podium. You never want to be in one stagnant spot. You never want to just be standing there. The worst thing you could do in a spoken word event is sit in a chair. Oh my gosh, I've seen people do that before

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and I want to bond it on them. Why would you do that you're missing out on the actual interaction of performing. You want to walk around the stage you want to engage with you want to look people in the eye here in front and beyond. You want to engage with the audience using your voice using your tone using your body language. So definitely do not sit down. Definitely do not stand in front of a podium if you can, and also try your best to move around the stage and make the people feel comfortable by kind of coming closer to them and engaging with them in a way that otherwise standing in front of furniture will not allow you to