Speech Smarts

Is Your Picture Inspiring?

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“Wow! What an inspiring speaker.”

Guiding her arm under his, Jane tugs John out of his seat. “Let’s introduce ourselves… maybe we can get a picture with him.”  John, reluctantly, follows.  Why does she find him so inspiring?

As they approach, you energetically greet them in stride, “Thanks for coming today.”
Offering your hand, you glance at their name tags.  “It is a pleasure to meet you, Jane.  And John, I must compliment you on your choice.” Warmly connecting with John’s eyes, you turn back to Jane.
“You were captivating.  How did you get so good?” Jane exclaims.
Slightly tilting your head to the side, you say, “Thank you.  I keep improving, because it was impossible to get worse, when I learned the difference between practice and deliberate practice.”

“You mean you just practiced a lot more?” John’s voice was a mix of hope and resignation.
“Not exactly, Dr. Anders Ericsson defines deliberate practice as setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome. Tell me, what would have made the presentation more meaningful for you?”

“Absolutely nothing!  You were great,” Jane beams.

Hesitating, John asks, “Why did you tell so many personal stories?”

“Sharing personal stories is the best way to let the audience get to know you, and since I have lived them, they are easier to remember.  However, my goal is to share the feelings within my stories.  When we share common emotions, we connect with others.  Inspiration is the residue of that connection.”

John and Jane look closely at each other and then, warmly at you.  “Wow!” they utter in unison as you turn towards the next guest.

“Darn,” Jane blurts, “We forgot to get a picture.”

John smiles, slipping his arm under hers, “We got a picture…the big picture.”

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About the Author:

David Nemitz has designed and delivered over 10,000 sales presentations, professional development programs and executive coaching sessions for corporations and governmental organizations such as the US State Department, The French Consulate, and American Express. When he is not helping others define and refine their strengths, you can find him watching the sun set over The Magic City or strolling through The City of Light where he lives with his wife Ninette.