Speak from your strength – your story

I doubt I am the only one who used to watch conference speakers and say to myself, “Wow. I wish I could do that.” I may see them keep audiences rolling with belly laughter, command the stage with smooth moves and big animation or simply share some meaningfully poignant remarks and bow their humble heads.

To me, public speaking meant being something I’m not. I’m not all that funny. I am not a dancer/contortionist. I doubt my ability to operate from a high pace. So when it comes to speaking, I am out of my element. Then I learned there is more to speaking than putting on a character trait foreign to me.

Speaking works when we speak from our strengths.

The combined ideas that we all born speakers and that we all are unique really operate simultaneously. Being born a speaker means many things. Today I will focus on one simple idea.

We all have a story to tell.

All of us see the world from our own experiences, our own values, our own intellect and our own passions. Our story, or what happened to us and those around us within the scope of our speaking topic, is the one feature we own that will attract the most attention as we speak. It’s a critical part of the message we deliver and the most engaging way  to draw people into what we say.

When we share our story, we speak from our strength.

From my days of high school teaching I saw multitudes of motivational speakers, whether youth, adults or senior citizens. All of the good ones had one thing in common. They told their own story. They weren’t a celebrety. They may not have been highly educated, but what they knew to do is open themselves up to tell about their mistakes and their growth. This allowed us listeners to also be opened up – to pause to reflect, to smile in anticipation, to respond with alarm or sympathy.

At first I said to myself, “They have such interesting lives, information to tell that is worth sharing. What do I have?” Then I realized their story starts the same way as mine – they learned from their  mistakes.

I have made so many mistakes, especially those that have to do with Not asking for help, Staying in my cave, Forgetting to share my voice, Judging myself too critically, and many more. And with the mistakes come examples of times I made them that reveal results I am not too happy about but lead to goals. This allows me to share a story of growth that helps to make the point I am addressing.

When speakers get in front of audiences they need openness for a strong connection.

Stories open people.

You have stories of lessons learned, too, don’t you? All clients of our Peer Presentation Groups build stories into their messages. If you are willing to learn from others’s stories, then you can imagine others are willing to learn from yours. Consider building them into your messages.

Do you want to know what happens to you when you share your story? Do you want to know what happens to others when you share your story? Your story is your strength. Share your story.

 Peer Presentation Group For up to 10 of you at your firm!

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On August 14th, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by