Things we can learn from supervillains — Public Speaking

Ming
3 min readFeb 19, 2023

Public speaking can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking cues from some of the most iconic villains in popular culture, you can learn to communicate with confidence and authority. From Doctor Octopus’ attention-grabbing stunts to Bane’s rousing speeches, there is much to be learned from the world of villainous public speaking. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways that villains use public speaking to achieve their goals and how you can apply these lessons to your own public speaking endeavors.

Photo by Nadin Sh via Pexels

Enjoy the spotlight. Being comfortable standing out from the crowd can help you demonstrate your skills and expertise. In the Spider-Man franchise, Doctor Octopus is a brilliant scientist who becomes a supervillain after a lab accident fuses his robotic arms to his body. Craving for attention, he is often seen performing elaborate and dangerous stunts in public. If it were not that he meant to hurt and harm, he would definitely have received offers from the world’s best circuses.

Connect with your crowd. It helps to establish trust, credibility, and rapport to get close to your listeners. In the Avengers (2012), Loki gives a speech in Stuttgart, Germany. He has just arrived on Earth and is trying to draw out the Avengers. He gathers a crowed in the public square and demands them to kneel. As he delivers a dramatic and grandiose speech in which announces his plans to conquer the planet, he compensates his brusqueness with a gentle walk among his audience. This little gesture makes him much more approachable than if he has stood behind a podium.

Always call for action. In the film The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is a ruthless villain who seeks to destroy Gotham City. He hijacks the city’s communication systems and broadcasts a speech to the people of Gotham. He uses his imposing physical presence, along with his charisma and powerful rhetoric, to rally the people to his cause and turn them against Batman and the city’s leaders. That’s some serious leadership skill.

Hold your ground. Another iconic villain in this franchise is the Joker. Although chaotic and unpredictable in personality, his public speech is decisive and consistent. In the film the Dark Knight, he broadcasts a video message to the people of Gotham, in which he threatens to kill innocent people unless Batman reveals his secret identity. He remains unshakable and unquestionable throughout the hostage situation.

Be candid in pointing out problems. Villains often exude an air of confidence and authority that commands attention. This can be seen in many examples of villainous public speaking, such as Darth Vader’s iconic line, “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. By speaking with conviction and authority, you can capture the attention of your audience and inspire them to take action.

In conclusion, although we don’t condone the actions of these fictional villains, we can certainly learn from their public speaking skills. By embracing their confidence, connection, assertiveness, and persuasive language, we can become better public speakers ourselves. The next time you need to give a speech or presentation, channel your inner villain and deliver it with conviction and authority. With practice, you too can capture the attention of your audience and inspire them to take action. Just remember to use your powers for good!

(Acknowledgement: Examples, introduction, and conclusion are generated via ChatGPT.)

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