Yes, okay! Storytelling is important! You get it! But how do you FIND the stories to tell—the stories that will elevate your message—and how do you share them for the greatest impact? Can we guarantee that after this workshop you’ll elevate your presentations and be a more engaging conversationalist? Actually, ya, pretty much.
This is for you if you’re interested in:
Strategies to find your stories
How to know if you have a good story
The best way to make your story better
Bonus: 45 minute 1-1 coaching session to be scheduled within the next 4 weeks (value $250)
“Speaking moistly……oh what a terrible image.” I laugh every time. A legit, out-loud laugh. Every time.
But it’s a kind laugh. It’s a laugh full of empathy and humanity and, in fact, respect.
This guy has been speaking live to a national audience every day for almost thirty days. I suppose it gets easier, but still it must be a bit terrifying.
He must on some level think, What if I don’t know the answers to their questions? What if my mind just goes blank? What if I say something embarrassing? Like ‘speaking moistly’?
His instant recognition of the ridiculousness of it is a gem of pure honesty. It gives us a little insight into his character. All of his prepared words don’t do that. His prepared words are necessary and important and are easing the worries of this country. But this moment shows us a little about the guy behind the mask curtain.
Well, ladies and gentlemen. Here it is. This is what it looks like when your biggest public speaking fears come true. And look, he’s still alive, he’ll be back out there today and quite frankly he seems even more human than he did yesterday.
Sure we’re laughing at his expense, but the underlying respect is still there. As I’ve said before, the payoff to speaking genuinely is well worth the cost. Be prepared, but don’t be afraid to show people your character.
So what’s holding you back from getting your message out there? Prepare. Then do it. Be clear. Be yourself. Be heard.
Don’t let your fears keep you from sharing what you’ve got with this world. Someone out there needs it.
I mean, come on. “Speaking moistly.” Again, out loud. Every single time.
For politicians, it’s a minefield out there, and speaking off the cuff is full of potential pitfalls. But playing it safe and reading exclusively from a script can be damaging too.
In this public statement, Trudeau did something he rarely does; he mentioned his late father. The pundits say it was a mistake. I say, “More of that, please.”
After politicians speak, journalists transcribe the words and decipher their meaning and dissect the legalities and the implications. But let’s be honest. The average Canadian pays much less attention to those details. From a content perspective they are mostly just hearing the messages that confirm what they already believe.
In my logical left brain, I agree that talking about his father seems like a bad idea politically. But personally and emotionally, that was the one part of his address that I actually felt –how to put it– I actually felt he was really SAYING something. With some frank honesty. It was the one part of his speech where he wasn’t being a teacher reading to us from the front of the class.
It seems that he’s really talking to us, that he really means what he is saying. It’s not perfect. But I believe him. I’d love an EEG or functional MRI to confirm it, but I suspect that at the moment he begins this part of his speech, the right side of his brain starts lighting up like fireworks. The creative, emotional centres finally get in the game.
And when these parts of a speaker’s brain get in the game, so do those of their listeners. And that’s the magic of speaking off the cuff, from the heart.
From a speech science perspective, expressing novel content spontaneously has certain characteristics: increased pause lengths between thoughts, varied intonation patterns, varied speech rates, hesitations, revisions, increased use of fillers. So sure, you could fake it by reading the words and employing these features. Or you could skip all that and just mean what you say.
It’s a leap of faith to come off the page and speak from the heart. It’s scary and risky, but the payoff is big. It connects you to your listeners and convinces them in ways that encyclopedias full of hard facts cannot.
So even if what you are saying isn’t the best writing, the most adept messaging, the smartest political move–the connection that you make with your listeners may be worth more than that. Consider Mr. Trump to the south of us. When we see his words on paper, they are often ridiculous. Hell, sometimes they are not even words. But somehow, he’s convincing a lot of people that he’s an authentic guy. This is the somehow. Although we may completely disagree, we still think he means what he says. And strangely, that counts for a lot.
So the next time you’re giving a speech or a presentation, find a story you can tell, a personal anecdote that reflects your message. (Practice telling it. Record yourself and revise as needed.) Tell your story early on so that you can come off the page and connect to your audience. It will make all the difference. Get your right brain in the game.
It’s about trust, and if we trust that you mean what you say, you may just win us over.
Outside of that, you’re just a guy reading out words in front of the class.