Let’s Talk Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, we watch talks and interviews with artists and discuss how to present our work clearly and with confidence.  This week we’ll check out Ledisi’s Tiny Desk Concert at National Public Radio.

There’s no doubt this artist has great talent, but we’re looking here at how she talks about her work.  Does she seem confident and comfortable?  Are her posture and gestures helpful or distracting?  Does she smile and look at the audience?  Are her speed and volume good?  Let’s take a look at three parts of the recording where she’s talking: 3:30-4:45, 9:30-11:00, and 14:00-15:25.

What does she do well? She smiles a lot, she looks around at the audience when she speaks, and she uses humor to keep the audience engaged when her assistant comes to fix her makeup.

Her volume and speed are very good and she speaks clearly.  She gestures with her hands to help make her points clearer and more interesting.

Near the end, she checks in with the crowd by asking if they like the performance so far.  This is a good way to keep the audience engaged during a break.

What could she improve?  She shifts her weight back and forth from one foot to another.  Even though she seems confident in other ways, this shifting posture makes her seem more insecure.  It may be that her boots are uncomfortable or unstable, but it is a little distracting. This is something many people do naturally when they are in front of a crowd, so when you are speaking in public, try to be aware of it and stay still.

What do you think of this performance?  Do you agree with my comments?  Do you have questions about the vocabulary?  Do you want to suggest a piece for me to discuss next week?  Leave a comment below!

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today.  They are in bold.  If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To see the original article, written by Suraya Mohamed on November 21, 2017, click the link below:
https://www.npr.org/event/music/565327911/ledisi-tiny-desk-concert

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Jessica

I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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