Top Tips for Becoming a Powerful Speaker
I get asked all the time, “Lisa, what are your top tips for becoming a more powerful speaker?” Now THAT is a loaded question, and I have a full-on curriculum that I teach in courses, live events (now virtual) and masterminds to students on my campus.
You see, it’s hard to condense that huge topic down into bitesize nuggets for you to consume, but this week I decided to take that challenge. Because as gladiators, unicorns and change agents, we like to rise up to challenges, right?
So, get your pen and paper out and get ready to take notes as I share my top tips for becoming a powerful speaker!
#1—Show the story versus tell the story
Show the story. Show me the experience versus telling me about the experience. To do that, you have to show me what you are thinking. Show me what is going on inside of your head. For example: “As I sat inside the waiting room, my mind was racing. It was racing insanely. What will they say? Will they accept me? What will they do? Am I going to get this job? I don’t know what will happen if I don’t.” You see how right there I took you inside of my head and gave you the gift of knowing what I was thinking. So many of us think the same thing, we just don’t talk about it. Then the second part is to show me what you were feeling. For example, “I felt my heartbeat going really fast. Oh my God. I think I’m actually nervous. I think I’m actually scared. I haven’t been scared in a long time and that made me realize how much I really wanted this job. I really wanted to be accepted” You can actually see what is going on in my head and in my heart this way.
#2 – Always engage in a dialogue versus a monologue
You want to always engage in a dialogue versus a monologue where you’re the only one speaking. Believe it or not, you can do that—even in a video you can do that. Even if your audience can’t actually talk back to you, they can still be engaged in a dynamic, silent exchange. There’s a technique to create a dialogue-based message versus a monologue-based message.
#3 – Honor the dignity of everyone listening to you
Honor the dignity of everyone listening to you, whether you’re speaking to children who are ages five, six or seven or whether you’re speaking to teens, adults, or professionals. Find a way to speak where the audience feels and knows that you’ve honored their dignity.
#4 – Create a space where the audience sees you as a human being
Create a space where the audience can see a bit of you as a human being–not just as a motivator, not just as the educator, not just as a transformational agent, but as a human being. I so often see speakers and trainers who are teaching from a mountain top. But the responsibility of a speaker is to allow me (the audience) to see a bit of you on the same journey that you’re teaching me about. That is also a way you can honor the dignity of the person listening to you.
#5 – Use the “Me, We, You” audience connection formula
The “Me, We, You” formula is a technique where you have to first put your own skin into the game. If you want me to put skin in as an audience, and you want me to give you my heart and lend you my ear, then you need to give me something first. Think of it this way…whenever you’re speaking, you need to give it up. First, you show me yours, then I show you mine, right? And then the second part is we’re in this together. And then the last part is where you show up as a teacher. So, you want to make sure that you make a distinction that you’re the educator…you’re the speaker, but you want to do it after you’ve created a community. Let me give you an example so you can see how this looks and sounds.
“There was a time in my life when I often questioned if I was good enough to be a speaker…if I was good enough or smart enough to be a CEO. Can I run a company? (ME) We have a tendency to have a desire…have a dream, have a goal…and then almost instantly question if we are the person to make it happen. (WE) Has there ever been a time in your life when you wanted something and you really, really felt like it was something that you should get or that you could handle. And then you instantly questioned if you were the right person for the task?” (YOU)
Did you see it? Ok write this technique down:
Part 1: There was a time…(choose the experience)
Part 2: We have a tendency to…(the common ground)
Part 3: Have you ever…(same topic)
Just start practicing with that simple, three-part formula. You can do variations later when you become savvier at it.
#6 – Just Speak
Speak to inspire, not to impress. Speak to inspire and encourage not just to be right. Speak to challenge the status quo, not to put it down. Speak to lift up, not to dismantle. Speak to encourage and make people aware, not just to make your point. And when all else fails, speak with courage, speak with conviction, and even be willing to speak with a quiver. Just speak.
I know that was a lot of information in a short amount of time. But please let me know below in the comments which speaking tip was the most helpful to you? What did you learn that you might not have known before? I love, love, love reading your comments and seeing your #AHA moments, so please continue to share.
Remember…this is your home, and we are your tribe. I LOVE you, and I BELIEVE in you. These are not just words. I truly do.
Your Sister in Prosperity and Possibility,