Communicating your ideas can be a magical experience.
If you share your ideas well it can transform your audience!
Though, sometimes I feel less like Dumbledore and more like the Wizard of Oz - like I'm just faking it and soon everyone will find out I don't know what I'm doing. But, what if it was possible that by learning a few simple tricks, you can be certain your ideas would stick to the mind of your audience and they would be transformed because of what you said or did?
As if by magic, when you communicate with confidence it can transform your world.
Have you ever wasted a day?
Maybe it’s more likely you can think of a moment or two...or twenty, rather than any entire day you have wasted.
Two moments come to mind immediately for me, one spoken, the other written:
Like, at my wedding when we bombed the bride & groom speech. We said 'thank you' to nobody specific about 12 times, high-fived 'for marriage!', and that was about it. Though, now that I think of it, it’s probably better to have a terrible short speech than a terrible long speech.
Or the first time I was invited to write a workshop proposal for a local organization. I waited for inspiration, Googled proposal templates, then tried to fill in the blanks with as many big words as possible. Finally inspiration happened to hit me while I was on vacation and noticed it was the deadline day to get the proposal in, so I whipped it together in under an hour and sent it off. Low and behold, they rejected the offer claiming that it didn’t make sense as they laughed off my ridiculously low fee request.
I bet you have had a few similar experiences in your life. You step up to the situation, ready to communicate a clear idea you have, then you implode. Or you say completely what you planned on saying and the listeners leave the experience completely uninspired.
What a waste.
What a waste of your time, planning and presenting something that doesn’t stick, but more than that, what a waste of the audience’s time as they sat there politely staring at a lame duck wishing they were anywhere but here. Or they read through your proposal/resumé/advertisement/story and forgot it immediately upon turning away.
What if we could make it so you don’t waste any more opportunities?
I mean, I can’t really help with wasting a day binging on Netflix, but I am sure that I can help you communicate with confidence so that you never again feel like you wasted a moment to share an idea.
The best part about communication is this: it’s not just about you.
Communication always involves at least two people - you, and you're audience.
Let’s start by assuming ‘they’ are eager to receive something of value from you.
Let’s also assume you are eager to share something valuable with them.
If you have something to say, say it well.
I’ve seen hundreds of public speakers, I’ve been in charge of booking speakers for events, and I make my living as a speaker.
I’ve seen thousands of commercials, I’ve read a bajillion tweets/status updates/stories, and I’ve tried to develop a brand for myself.
I’ve spent hours having coffee with friends, I’ve fallen asleep in dozens of lectures & sermons, and I’ve tried to tell great stories around the dinner table.
One thing is consistent through it all; there is a communicator and there is an audience. Sometimes the communicator is able to capture the attention of his or her audience, but usually the audience is just being nice.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Just being nice.
- When your friend gives the best man speech at a wedding and it was the most horrendous 18 minutes of your life, but you smile and say, ‘good job’. Nice.
- You show up to church on some Sundays only to sit and nod through 40 minutes of the Pastor regurgitating a message you’ve heard week after week. Nice.
- You are staring right through the person across the table from you while they tell you about every detail of their Disney vacation. Nice. (Guilty as charged, btw, of being the longwinded vacation storyteller).
The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way. As communicators we don’t have to guess what our audiences are thinking, we already know. We go through our lives being an audience for so many people, we know exactly what it feels like to be uninspired by a conversation. The reason for this is simple:
We will leave uninspired if the communicator is taking our presence for granted.
I want to make sure you are identifying with that feeling. It is the feeling that the person on the other end of the communication does not need you or care about you. It doesn't feel good, right? You don't feel valued. You become aware that they have something to say and will say it regardless of whether it makes a difference in any one life, or not. If you can tap into that feeling you can work towards making sure nobody ever feels like that when you are communicating something valuable.
This whole idea makes me wonder how many times I’ve missed something valuable because it was communicated to me amongst so much uninteresting garb. In fact, I wonder (and cringe at) how many times my audience has missed the valuable thing I had to communicate because I wrapped it up in the muck of unnecessary details and irrelevant stories.
If you want your ideas to stick with your audience, start by not taking your audience for granted.
As a communicator in any form - giving a speech or selling a product - we cannot take the opportunity we have for granted. There is an audience, they are listening, it is up to us to give them something valuable that could transform them.
I want to help you make sure that you no longer take for granted the fact that people are listening to you, but you show them the respect they deserve by delivering something magical; that is, memorable and transformative.
Magical communication will happen as you captivate them with stories, surprise them with something unexpected, ask them great questions, show them an example, teach them what's important, connect them to others, and involve them in the process. These are the 7 tricks to make speaking magical, and I'm confident as you begin to implement these in all aspects of your communication it will change the impact you have in your world.
It doesn’t matter the situation you’re in: sitting around the table with friends, on the couch with your spouse, or in a board room with the brass making your pitch. You could be teaching english to 5th graders, preaching to your congregation, posting about your small business on Facebook, making a sale, or sweating through a job interview;
The unmistakable truth is this: you have endless opportunities to communicate an idea you believe has value. I urge you, say it well.
If your ideas truly are valuable then it is worth your time to keep reading this series and figure out some tricks to help you make speaking magical, communicate with confidence, transform your audience!