In the movie the Wedding Crashers, the Rachel McAdams character, as maid of honor, had to give a wedding toast. She ran it by The Owen Wilson character. He suggested if she went forward with what she just said, she would “hear crickets” in other words, flop. She ignores his advice and presents the toast her way. There’s an awkward silence. In a panic, she looks at Owen Wilson. He saves her by pointing to his chest- suggesting she speak from her heart. It works.
I like that because I feel the more in touch with your heart you can get, the more effective you’ll present. The following three approaches will get you nearer to your essence and farther away from glossophobia. What’s glossophobia? Why, fear of public speaking, of course. An affliction that an estimated 75% of us share.
Statistics- Statistics work as supporters. For example, I used the 75% number in the previous paragraph. I saw that stat in five internet searches I did. It makes me feel comfortable with my statement by giving it depth. And when you speak with depth the closer to your heart you find yourself.
The best part is that statistics are all over the internet. That makes them easy to gather. Make sure they stem from credible sources, though. Make sure they feel right.
Stories- Let me tell you one that has stayed with me. When I worked in the corporate world, my staff and I went through a conflict management seminar.
The Monday after completion, one of my supervisors came to me with an issue. Two employees in her department were having trouble with each other. She asked me for advice on how to handle it.
Now, remember, she had just been through the very course that provided her the methods to handle just this type of situation! However, for whatever reason, she didn’t make the connection.
When I reminded her of the session, I could see the flickering of connecting synapses. My curiosity nudged at me until I asked her why she didn’t initially think to use the material she had learned the week prior. She thought a moment and shrugged.
If the idea of that story was on a power point slide presented to managers, it may have looked like this:
How to Mentor Your Staff :
- Discover what they need
- Ask probing questions
- Use your knowledge to assist your staff
Comments around that may include droning on in generalities about having meetings or asking them about their issues. That may be safe but would it be effective? Which packs more punch? Which will your audience retain? Which would you feel comfortable presenting? The story, I suspect.
Plus as a hard working, diligent manager, wouldn’t hearing that exchange make you more aware of your role in mentoring your staff through the all important people issues? And that’s the crux of the piece. So, rummage through your life for stories that fit your point. Tailor them to your audience. Use them.
Samples (or examples)- These serve you like statistics without the numbers. They support your points, amplify your ideas and clarify your notions.
So, if I say that members of Generation Y prefer texting, instant messaging or email to speaking my example might be- In fact, my boomer friend says his most used text message to his Generation Y progeny is CALL DAD!
So, next time you’re up, speak from your heart with the 3 S’s- Statistics, Stories and Samples. Make you entire talk nothing but that. If you do, you won’t hear crickets, you’ll hear applause.