Yesterday was a big day for wrestling fans– Wrestlemania 31 broke all kinds of records with 76,976 fans in attendance, totaling a live gate of $12.6 million.
Some of you might be stumped. How could this “fake sport” rake in over 7 digits with a single event?
Could be the man-candy. Maybe it’s the death defying stunts. Some would argue the character arcs and storylines. I think that’s a step in the right direction. But before you can even worry about substance and plot, you need an anchor to reel you in. Wrestlers are that anchor. The ability to cut a promo can vary greatly, but there’s plenty to glean from even the worst trash talkers.
1. Speak with a Purpose
The worst you can do as a speaker is talk without direction. What exactly are you getting at? If you don’t even know, you’re wasting the audience’s time as well as your own.
Wrestlers, of course, have it easy:
- I’m the best.
- You’re not the best
- I’m going to win
- You’re not going to win
- (Any combination of the above) = You’re not going to win because I’m the best and you’re not.
I’m pretty sure that’s why certain rap songs gain heavy rotation on the airwaves. A freestyle is a cool gimmick, but songs that talk about being on top, being rich, and getting all the girls– these themes have a clear and easy message most people can follow. Being unoriginal is a completely different problem.
If you want to apply this to the workplace, think twice you approach your supervisor. I’m not saying you should be afraid to turn to a superior for help. But when you do, make sure you deliver the details in a clear concise way (i.e. here’s the problem -> this method didn’t work -> I’m talking to you because I need to know what are your thoughts).
Don’t go off in a ramble.
2. Speech Dynamics are the Best Theatrics
You guys remember that scene with Ben Stein from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, right? (C’mon, younger generation, you’re making us feel old.)
Ben Stein went on to make a name for himself and his monotony, but for most of us, it’s really tough to hang with that kind of speaker. Wrestlers, on the other hand, get a bad rap of being hard to follow because they’re shouting 90% of the time.
But the wrestlers that are really good on the mic? They also know how to speak in hushed tones. And when they do, it creates such a nice contrast, you’re automatically drawn to listen more carefully.
Wrestlers also get bonus points for being fully capable of projecting their voice without a mic.
3. Don’t Sit on Your Words
This is probably the most underrated aspect of becoming a better speaker. Sure, you can agonize over the right words or spend hours upon hours on the right delivery. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is how you follow through with the words.
You’re probably familiar with the term “all bark, but no bite”.
Are you going to just be all talk?
If you sit on your words, being a smooth cassanova of speech won’t amount to anything. And that’s a fact that wrestlers are well aware of. It doesn’t matter what kind of chops they have on the mic. They also have to bring it to the ring. And not only do wrestlers lay the smack down, but they also inspire and honor others.
This ability to work your words in order to connect and move people? You’d be a fool not to learn from that.