Do you Stand Out when you Speak Up?

Think about all the speaking you did in the last week. It seems we are always speaking. The question to ask is how many opportunities came your way as a result of your speaking? Were you able to get your message across? Did anyone take action based on your speaking? Was it the action you wanted them to take? Were your words and your message relevant to those who were listening? How often do you stand out when you speak up?

As a mother of three children, I have had many opportunities to evaluate the results of my speaking. Getting a message across to a teenager who is not that motivated to listen is a challenge. So is selling my idea to senior  management, or persuading a team to take steps that deliver results. If your speaking leaves you frustrated at times, you are not alone! I have learned a few tips and techniques that have significantly increased the impact of my words. Along the way, I have been inspired by Seth Godin, author of Start with Why. He teaches us that people buy why you do something, rather than what or how you do something. I have applied this to my conversations, presentations and even my emails. It works!

3 Ways to Stand Out when you Speak Up

Have you told me why you care?

Your audience needs to know why you care. Indeed – they need to know that you care at all. If you don’t care about what you are speaking about, neither will your audience! Authentic passion makes for compelling listening. Passion also often provides a ‘touch point’ for the audience – a point that allows them to identify with you as a person. Once your words have touched someone in your audience, you have engaged them. If you are not able to engage your audience, you have very little chance of getting your idea across, even if it is a powerful idea.

Is what you are saying immediately relevant to your audience?

We live in an age where with a swipe of our finger, we can move on. There are so many ideas available to us, all the time. Your message has to be immediately relevant to your audience – if not, they will simply move on. Our tolerance for a badly presented idea is virtually non-existent. Your audience is looking at you saying, “So What? Make me Care. Do it Fast!”.  To be immediately relevant, you need to understand the issue from the point of view of your audience. It is not about you and the game you are playing, it is about your ability to add value to someone else’s game.

Have you used the four magic words?

The most important words you can use when being persuasive are so that you can…  These words allow you to spell out the benefits of your ideas. I encourage a prospective client to book speech coaching sessions with me so that you can stand out when you speak up, so that you can be noticed and remembered when you speak, so that you can sign up new clients when you present to them. Never assume that your audience will ‘join the dots’. You need to speak to the benefits of your product or service. One of the best ways to make sure you do is to use the four magic words, so that you can.