Art of Public Speaking:
Columbo TechniqueDo you remember the soft-spoken, cigar smoking detective on the hit TV
series 'Columbo'? Most people do because the show is still in reruns
all over the world and once in a while a new episode comes out. One of
Detective Columbo's trademarks is that he would start to leave and when
he was almost out the door he would stop and say, "Oh. Just one more
thing." The same technique can be used in the art of public speaking by
speakers (but without the cigar, it is hard to speak while chomping).
Here's how the Columbo technique works: Save one of your really
critical points . . . maybe your most important point . . . then
completely leave your subject . . . then use the "Oh. Just one more
thing" technique and deliver your big point. The surprise is part of
the art of public speaking.
Until you've tried this out several times, don't try to use this
technique at the end of your speech because people will start shuffling
their materials inanticipation of the talk being over. This would cause
too much distraction for the technique to have it's full effect, and
the glitter in your art of public speaking would be dimmed.
On the other hand, the art of public speaking would begin by using the
technique just before a major transition in your talk. That way you
will eliminate the shuffling of papers problem noted above. When you
get comfortable with this, try the technique before a break. Play with
your wording so that you control the audience. Don't say "Well before
we take a break . . . " This will start them shuffling. Say something
like, "That's all on that topic . . . Oh. and one more thing" . . .
then give your main point. As you get really good at controlling the
crowd you can try this as your closing. Coming back with the main point
will be powerful and memorable. Now you are practicing the art of
Oh. Just one more thing . . . .only use this technique ONCE per
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