This is the third article in the X Spaces Tips series, the format I thought would be easiest for the reader would be to use this as a reference point for the following 9 points out of the 10 below. 4th in this series is an overview in my words about my first X Spaces experiences. Not everyone will experience the same scenarios, as every person is unique with their personality and circles of Twitter users. Some readers may not have tried XSpaces at all, and are reading for the first time.
XSpaces – It’s not just okay to be you. It’s preferred. Listen a lot and read the room.
The content below is an etiquette overview from a prolific and respected Twitter X Host @DiligentDenizon.
This was published on 30th December 2023 when I was honoured to be brought up to the speaker panel to contribute to the Space. I did ask the Host for permission to reproduce his content on my website with the promise to credit them.
1: The best speakers are also the best listeners.
I recommend listening to a space at least 5-15 minutes before requesting to speak.
This will give you a good sense of what kind of space it is; is it formal where the host is calling on hands that are raised and everyone takes turns speaking in an organised fashion?
Or is it informal where it’s just a flowing conversation where everyone is just chiming in with interjections and hot takes?
Active listening will also make sure that whatever you have to say will be relevant to where they’re at in the conversation.
2: Request to Speak – You Can Now Speak – Be Ready
Know what you want to say before you say it. Make sure that you have a complete thought or question formed before it’s your turn to speak.
This will help you not stutter or use filler words (uh, uhm, uh) and help you speak in complete sentences. In turn, it will make it easier for listeners to follow along with what you’re trying to say.
As a speaker, your smartphone will display 5 additional options available to you, X Spaces Speaking Article 4 will explain in more detail.
- Check your mic. Don’t leave your mic on, only unmute it when it’s your turn to speak applies most of the time with few exceptions: If you need to be hands-free then stay unmuted.
- It’s a common tiny faux pas for L plate Spaces speakers to leave this unmuted and ‘a hot mic’ whereby background noise can be heard. This can include keyboard tapping/typing, voices or background music, street traffic and my favourite faux pas – the washing machine spinning.
3: Be Concise
Say what you want to say in the simplest way possible. Don’t over-explain. Most of us have short attention spans. Keep that in mind when speaking to your audience.
If you ramble on for more than more than 1-2 minutes, most people shut down and are just waiting for you to finish. It’s not fun for anyone.
4: Have Thick Skin
This is the internet. Either by nature or intentionally, someone will offend you. Shrug it off, focus on your thoughts, and don’t let feelings dictate your behaviour.
Having a sense of humour is huge in Spaces. If you don’t take yourself too seriously, it will endear you with the audience and with the other speakers on the panel.
We’re all human and not perfect. Humility goes a long way in Spaces.
Public speaking is right up there with the fear of death for most people.
If you find yourself being nervous, spend a few minutes taking slow, deep breaths before you speak. This will help you relax while speaking and keep you confident in your words without stuttering as much.
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10 TIPS for SPEAKING in 𝕏 SPACES
The BEST speakers are also the BEST listeners. I recommend listening to a Space AT LEAST 5-15 minutes BEFORE requesting to speak.
This will give you a good sense of what kind of space it is; Is it… pic.twitter.com/vjTyOdGDPZ
— Diligent Denizen (@DiligentDenizen) December 30, 2023
Just like anything else, the more you practice speaking in Spaces, the better you will get at it.
If big Spaces make you nervous, spend some time getting used to speaking in smaller spaces for a while. Before long, speaking in these settings will become second nature for you.
Show your space hosts some respect. It’s difficult to manage these broader conversations. If a host is signalling that they want to let someone else speak, let them.
There’s nothing more annoying than someone who hogs the microphone and won’t give it back.
If it’s a debate or argument you’re in, focus on what is being said and not who is saying it.
Speaking on the merits of someone’s words is always better than attacking the messenger, trust me.
Interject and don’t interrupt.
If hosts see that you can operate with decorum, they will give you the chance to speak to notable public figures you might not otherwise have the chance to.
8: Read the Room
Having great situational awareness will make you a valuable asset as a speaker. You’re able to adapt in a conversation and not get stuck repeating the same talking points which will make you a much more interesting speaker.
Try not to hijack the topic of the Space. If you have something you’re passionate about, bring it up when it’s relevant to the conversation. If it’s not relevant, bring it up on a different day.
9: Don’t Present Your Resume
Lots of times, we have backgrounds that are relevant to the topic at hand. It’s boring when people over-qualify themselves before getting to their point.
If your background is very relevant, give a summary of what it is and then get straight to your point.
10: Be Yourself
Listeners are drawn to authenticity in Spaces. Be honest, candid, and real when presenting yourself. If you’re trying to put on a front of who you are, people will detect it and not take you seriously.
It’s not just okay to be you. It’s preferred.