If you turn to Chapter 7 of John Maxwell's book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, you'll pick up a key secret to life.
He calls it “The Law of Design”.
It could also be the law for speaking.
Maxwell states that in order to maximize growth, the key is to develop strategies. In other words, develop systems for doing things. I resonated with this chapter because I also have systems for everything. Processes that I follow for almost everything. When I get up in the morning, I have a system for starting my day. When I go to the gym, I have a planned system for the workout that I will do. When I write a speech, I have a system of steps and questions that I answer before the story is finalized. This may seem rigorous, but it helps me to stay productive and accomplish my goals.
Perhaps there are some that are too systemized. Maybe I'm one of them. However, there are far more people that simply don't have enough systemization in their lives. Systems lead to success. In life, and in speaking.
I encourage you to develop your own systems for your speeches. In the meantime, here's a system of 3 questions that you can use as a checklist to ensure that your message is heard by and resonates with your audience.
Do you have a system to start your speech?
Many speakers start with the trivialities and thank you's. There is nothing wrong with saying thanks to the people that brought you in to speak. However, there are too many “Worn-out Welcome's” that speakers use that have been heard before.
Here is what happens when you start your speech the way that everyone else does: Your audience thinks “Okay, I have a few minutes before the speaker really starts their speech...let me (check my phone, run to the bathroom, whisper to my neighbor etc) for a few minutes.”
This happens all too often. Here's the good news – if you see something often, and you choose to do something differently, you will immediately stand out. And be remembered...
Here are 3 steps to note to start your speeches so that you will be unique, and memorable.
Are you nervous before you speak?
What is going through your mind?
When you speak, the internal chatter will start...it's inevitable. Use these 7 questions as guidance to help you to get into the proper frame of mind BEFORE you speak!!
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” (George S. Patton)
Do you have courage? As a speaker, your answer is absolutely yes. Just standing up on stage as we know, is something that most people will never attempt to do. However, speaking is the start of courage – what you speak about is when it really turns to bravery.
There are still speakers that will not touch certain topics in their own lives. That is a shame because they are missing out on an opportunity for true connection with their audience. When you get personal, you can pull your audience in at a much greater level.
Here are 3 areas of courage to consider:
Getting up just after 4 am each morning for training. Actually, not for training, but simply to stand outside in the -55 degree Regina winter air, standing at attention, waiting to be called into the gymnasium...just to stand at attention AGAIN!
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.