Channel Supervillains to improve your public speaking

Supervillains are those evil characters who only exist to make superheroes’ life really hard. Have you noticed that they are all excellent speakers?

They are charismatic like no other character in the story, and they catch the audience’s attention, despite being the bad guys. Why does this happen? More importantly, what can you learn from them?

Supervillains like to be the center of attention

Most supervillains want to be the center of attention. No matter the reason, they like having a crowd looking at them. Why is this important? Enjoying doing something is a massive step towards looking confident.

You don’t need to be self-centered or selfish, but you need to learn to enjoy being in the spotlight. Worst-case scenario, you need to learn not to hate it.

It is scary, I know, but it is also good, and you feel so well after a good performance, don’t you?


It is perhaps hard to imagine a supervillain connecting with the crowd. Yet, if you carefully observe some speech from a movie or show, you will surely see that. They use both body language and stories to create some empathy.

Supervillains tell stories that many audience members can relate to; they touch their hearts. They have no empathy, usually, but they know exactly how to create some in the audience. They show that they aren’t that different – sometimes, they even play the victim when suitable – and get compassion from others.

I’m not telling you to act like a manipulative sociopath with your audience, but looking for genuine connection and empathy will make you a better speaker.


Supervillains work towards a goal – always! They know exactly what they intend to accomplish in every step, which is true for every speech. They are very focused.

A speech is carefully prepared according to the goal behind it. What do they want the audience to do? They prepare a call to action, and you should also do it. It increases the audience’s engagement.


Supervillains always look full of confidence, don’t they? That’s why they can’t be ignored!

They studied exactly what they should say, how they should say it, and all possible outcomes, and so should you! They prepare their public appearances in every single detail, and the result is that they captivate and mesmerize their audience.

With good preparation, you can find this level of confidence as well.

Own Your Actions

Have you ever noticed that supervillains are unafraid to say, “Yeah, I did it!”? They take risks and deal with consequences. True supervillains don’t hide; they own their actions. This helps them to appear as leaders.

Leadership involves risk-taking, and before an audience, you have the leader role, so take it. Own your actions and your mistakes, make decisions, and take risks. This will help your audience to see you as worthy and reliable.


Some people believe that our ability to adapt and be creative makes us different from other animals on Earth. Supervillains are experts in creativity and adaptation. They always change their bad deeds to go around the superheroes and win. They… surprise!

Now, how can you use this in your performances? There are two ways. First, surprise your audience! Nothing will catch their attention more than something they wouldn’t expect. Secondly, adapt. Things will not always go the way you want; instead of beating yourself up or believing you’re unworthy, imagine a solution. It doesn’t need to be perfect!

Ultimately, you’ll feel better because you overcome a problem, and your audience will respect you even more.


Superheroes (and villains) are part of our imagination and have a dozen characteristics that make them so interesting to all of us. Yet, what makes us more connected to them is the parts we can relate to. It’s all in the details.

Next time you watch a superhero movie, pay attention to the villain. What made him own the audience? Why was their speech so catchy, even if they were being so evil? Then, transport that to your performances. Adapt and be super!

Cátia is a psychologist who is passionate about helping children develop and train social skills.


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