Rainbow Example 1 – Darren Tay

darrentayrainbow Let’s analyse the speech Darren Tay made to win the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking. Does Darren’s speech Outsmart, Outlast look like a rainbow? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjGCetdtknU Using my speak the rainbow colors, you see how Darren beat a field of powerful speakers to win first place. His speech uses all the rainbow colors – red (emotions); orange (energy) yellow (joy); green (hope); blue(vision); indigo (depth); purple (soul) – balanced skillfully to create a colorful connection which looks like this: darrentayrainbow Notice that green, right in the center of the rainbow, and purple slightly dominate the other colors. Green and Purple – two very powerful colors which give his speech the edge. Here are some quick notes on how each color appears: Red. Darren knows his subject, bullying, will create strong red emotions with his audience. He connects to his audience’s fears, memories, and secrets by revealing his story of high school bullying and asking his audience, “Have you every felt so fearful that you could not eat or sleep?” Yet his use of red is not overpowering.
Certainly, other finalists in the contest had more red. Darren controls his red by keeping his stories tight and not letting red emotions alter his voice nor the balance of his speech. In fact, the red color of his bullying story is only used to set up and balance the green color which dominates the end of his speech. Orange: Darren speaks with a lot of physical and vocal energy. His hand gestures are rapid and he tends to pace the stage. Darren even adopts Amy Cuddy’s power positions, like placing his hand on his hips for the Wonder Woman pose, to make sure the audience sees his strong orange stage presence. Yellow: For a guy wearing a pair of white underwear in front of an audience of 2000 people, Darren’s speech is not hilarious and only has a handful of moments of real laughter. Although it is not intended to be funny speech, his decision to wear underwear spreads light and the color of yellow into the the dark subject of bullying. Furthermore, Darren’s youth and surprisingly upbeat attitude (for someone speaking about bullying) bring more joy to his speech. From the start, he smiles naturally and shares his joy to be on stage. Green: The green in the center of his rainbow is the real takeaway and goal of Outsmart, Outlast. During the speech Darren plants seeds of wisdom and teaches by telling his audience what others taught him: First the advice from his aunt; then the advice of former bully George Amberfield and finally his own advice to the audience. In his conculsion Darren shines his green ray of hope for all when he repeats three times “Let us…” before finishing with “We can all outsmart, outlast”. Ending his speech with the expressions “Let us” and “We can” leaves the audience uplifted by green hope. Blue: Darren’s rather high voice, accent, and unusual way of bending or couching towards the audience give him a unique personality as a speaker. Darren’s style is enough blue to convince the audience his vision is original. Indigo: The title of the speech Outsmart, Outlast is indigo and hooks with wordplay and the promise of knowledge. Yet this is the weakest color in his speech. Speech structure and deep content are not overtly apparent although Darren uses the rule of three when giving examples. Darren adds some indigo with “Biological insulation” which captures attention and the alliteration “a bigger bully, a better bully”. There is also a clever use of syntax in the phrase, “we beat ourselves up, and put ourselves down” and the twist on the Toastmasters slogan “where leaders are made” to “where bullies are made”. Purple. From the moment he pulls underwear from his pocket and silently steps into it on stage, Darren connects with purple. First, silence attracts attention and is a purple technique Darren uses well during his speech. Second, whether planned or improvised, the little stumble he makes as he steps into his underwear connects with the audience who “imagine” him falling flat on his face. He then focuses attention on the power of his imaginative prop when he says “my eyes are here”. However, it is just after the 5-mintue-point of the speech, when Darren pulls a masterstroke of purple connection by asking his audience exactly what they are thinking, “How long is Darren going to have his underwear outside his pants?”. Be stating the obvious, or “calling the room” as comedians refer to this technique, Darrren ensures full connection with his 2000 listeners before moving to the crucial final two minutes of his speech. And then he hits the audience with the huge reveal – that we all wear our fears like invisible underwear. A highly imaginative and intuitive (purple) idea which forces every audience member to “imagine” their own fears as invisible underwear worn outside themsevles. By calling the invisible into his speech, Darren makes a purple connection with everyone’s imagination in the audience. To conclude, the two colors which shine most in Darren’s balanced rainbow are green and purple, the colors of teaching and imagination. The other five colors help him connect colorfully with the audience and expand his message.

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