No matter what your station in life, if you speak, if you write, if you want to plan effectively, if you breathe, then there are three skills you must develop.
Archive for the ‘Speaking/Communication’ Category
This is a guest post by Jeff Goins, a recent student at our Dynamic Communicators Workshop. He is also a blogger and active on Twitter and Facebook. Jeff’s experience exemplifies what happens at DCW and why, even if you don’t speak in front of people for a living, DCW can be a life-changing experience that effects every area of your life.
The last morning of the Dynamic Communicators Workshops, we all sat, waiting for the final session to begin. We had finished giving our last speeches and were well rested, finally free from anxiety.
One of our instructors, Stacey Foster, took the stage with a commanding presence and brought it all home for us: “God wants to use you more than you want to be used.” We all raised an eyebrow, wondering what, exactly, he meant.
He then began to tell us why this all mattered. Stacey started to preach.
Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, I was about to step to the platform to address an energetic audience. I was talking with a friend about the content of my presentation when the event coordinator interrupted our conversation. He dismissed my friend with a demeaning comment and asked, “Are you going to wear “THAT” outfit to the platform? His eyebrows were raised in obvious disgusted annoyance. I was wearing new jeans, a shirt and a sport coat. It was the jeans that incurred his wrath.
His condescending tone flipped a switch deep inside my soul. My response was instantaneous, clever, profoundly logical, and……… totally inappropriate, but my lips were already moving and I spit the words out with vengeance.
Are you scheduled to speak to a group of professional peers?
Are you apprehensive about confronting someone in your family about a conflict?
Have you been asked to give a presentation?
Are you breathing and desire to communicate with confidence and power.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can be confident in your ability to speak with persuasive power by following these 7 steps of preparation.
Make sure you are familiar with all the facts. Make sure what you present IS fact. Take time to move beyond emotion to discover the truth. Your credibility rests on the your confidence in the information you will present. Know what you are talking about. This is true whether you are preaching a sermon or having a heart to heart conversation with your spouse.
List all of the elements you want to include in your presentation. Write down all of the supportive illustrations, evidence, scripture, questions, everything that you would possibly want to say about the topic you will address.
3. Focus Focus Focus
This is the most important step of all. Ask yourself WHY you want to say all those things you have listed. Isolate ONE, yes that is right ONE, outcome you want the listener to walk away with. Did you notice I said ONE outcome. Make that ONE outcome the singular focus of everything you say. This is where most communicators fail. They chase rabbit trails that lead nowhere or try to accomplish too much in a single talk. Your audience, whether 200 people or your husband, want to know what you are driving at.
“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. If you know where you are going you can take anyone with you.”
So, look over that LIST of things you want to say and write WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH into a single sentence. If you can’t identify the objective of your talk in a single sentence, you won’t be able to communicate it no matter how much time you have.
Now, eliminate everything in the list that does not lead the listener to the desired outcome. This can be hard when you have an emotional attachment to some story or point. It may be powerful, you may love it, but if it doesn’t lead toward your OBJECTIVE ditch it!
Organize what remains in a way that will most powerfully lead your listener/s to the SINGLE objective you want to accomplish.
Practice your presentation OUTLOUD, preferably with a friend who can give you some objective feedback. See if they get the objective of your talk.
Make your presentation with confidence.
SO….. If you are dreading your next communication challenge OR…. if you are looking for an opportunity to make your next presentation powerful and persuasive, prepare with these steps and let me know how it goes. I look forward to your comments.
One of the questions asked of me all the time is “What was your favorite audience?” People wonder if it was the 85,000 men I spoke to at a Promise Keepers event, or perhaps the 22,000 teenagers gathered in Washington DC, or maybe it was speaking to introduce the President of the United States. All those people are wrong.
I love doing my comedy shows and bringing laughter and hope to all kinds of audiences, but my favorite audience is some tiny little grandchildren that I love very much.
They think I am the funniest guy alive. When they were very small all I had to do was shake a set of car keys and they would laugh convulsively. Shake car keys at one of my shows?……….silent stares. If I make a face and whoop like a monkey they laugh until they can’t breath. I did that in a restaurant once………..hand cuffs.
In my new DVD, “Under the Influence,” I proclaim without shame how the power of love impacts our lives. One of our biggest concerns in the recent Tennessee flood was the safety of our little ones. I moved a thousand miles to be near them. I will spend the rest of my life letting them know about the greatest love of all!