Speech Smarts

Talking About Your Revelation?

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A revelation is a discovery so fascinating, a distinction so refined or a truth so transformational, you see the world anew.  When we speak what we believe, our words and expressions are steeped in our personal philosophy.  If you are serving up a weak and tepid brew, here are a few thoughts worth thinking through.

Do you speak or seek?    Having something to say doesn’t mean you have said something.  When all is said and done, much has been said but little has been done.   This cliché reminds us that actions speak louder than words. This cliché is sorta like saying well done is better than well said.   Speakers who recite their speeches mistake memorization for preparation.  They become cliché-ed by hiding their unique message in trite and commonplace expressions. What is personal history to you is a mystery to your listeners.  Find something new in the old.  Seek and you will find is simple to say; however, becoming a seeker of unique expressions and life lessons will help your presentations speak for themselves.

Do you talk or teach? My favorite subject is myself; perhaps we share the same interest. Talking about ourselves is fun for us, not our audience.    With almost no effort, I can work myself into every conversation.  My favorite way is to say, well in my opinion…  Or, I know exactly how you feel I had the same thing happen to me only… Each of these phrases and all their derivatives say pretty much the same thing.  I am more important than you and you should listen to me.  This is great if you are just speaking to yourself.  A few too many of my presentations have been monologues; Me, talking near my audience not with them.  Effective teachers create conversations by connecting their listener’s lives to meaningful ideas.  A presentation is a conversation.  This was a revelation for me.

Are you present when you present?    Think about the last time you were at a networking event or a cocktail party.  Did you notice how many people were looking around the room; past the person speaking near them?  Even just a quick glance reveals your lack of interest in the conversation and the person.   To be interesting to others, you must be interested in them.   Listening begins by being present.  When you speak to a group, it is pretty easy to read most faces.  If you look, their face will tell you if they understand, if they disagree or if they don’t really care.  If they are looking around the room, you have some work to do. Care enough to be there, with your audience. Your focus encourages their focus and your concern clears up their confusion.  It is a revelation for most speakers to discover that presenting in front of the room doesn’t mean you are present in the room.

Many years ago I was in Maui, Hawaii attending a Tony Robbins seminar with 800 people from around the world.  I was standing in the back of the room, next to a guy I hadn’t noticed before.  Suddenly the crowd started chanting, “Wayne. Wayne. Wayne.”  This guy turned and made his way through the crowd and stepped up on to the stage. The first thing he said was, “Contrary to popular belief, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  In one phrase, Dr. Wayne Dywer transformed my world.  Conscious raising comments are like double espressos for the soul, simultaneously reminding us of personal revelation and inviting others to see their world anew.

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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.