Imagine this. You are sitting in an auditorium and you are getting ready to hear an inspirational talk. You have your notebook out and are ready to dive into this talk. The speaker begins by telling a story… 30 mins go by and you have yet to understand the point of the story, you start thinking, “ maybe they are just building up to the point.” A pause happens for dramatic effect and you think, maybe this is it? But nothing happens and now, you’re starting to feel like the story is flat and unrelatable.
Boredom hits and the speaker is losing your attention. Finally, the endpoints become clear and you realize they have nothing to do with the talk. You want to relate to the speaker but now you are starting to feel kind of uncomfortable with the talk because nothing is really coming full-circle.
Why does this happen to speakers?
In my opinion, this happens to speakers because while they are speaking on a subject that inspires them, they haven’t really put themselves in their talk. All they are really doing is filling up the talk with a story that isn’t relatable to them, which ends up making the talk dry. This, in turn, makes the points they’ve come up with inapplicable to the whole idea behind the talk.
So, how do you avoid doing this? You have to learn how to put yourself in your talk. Let’s discuss three ways to ensure you are putting yourself in your talk.
Every great talk has something relatable for the audience to grab onto. For example, when I give Tedx Talks, I usually give a short story that helps others understand me better and also gives them an opportunity to find a commonality between myself and them!
Sharing stories are great! But just remember that your personal stories don’t have to be a long drawn out story. Short stories can be just as relatable and allow as many connections to happen as a long story would!
Have you ever talked to someone and when you leave the conversation you giggle a little bit because that person had a humorous personality? Laughter is contagious and memorable. There is a reason that Laffy Taffy shares jokes on their wrappers! People take time to listen and laugh at the jokes!
Now, I am not saying you have to become a stand-up comedian to be a speaker. Nope, not at all. What I am saying is that when you are speaking, make sure to invite laughter in the room when it is appropriate. Obviously, if the purpose of the talk is serious, laughter may not be appropriate at the time, but your job as the speaker is to be able to read the room and be able to know when it is okay to squeeze in some laughter here and there.
Be real and authentic with your audience, don’t try and imitate after someone else. You need to use your own experiences and thoughts. People can tell when you haven’t actually been through what you’re talking about.
Your audience came to hear YOU speak, not someone else.
Now, say you know of a story that can really relate and bring the idea you want for your talk full-circle. Great! But give credit where credit is due. Relating and sharing other people’s stories (with permission and recognition) is great and all, but people really appreciate and connect with you when YOU have been through it.
Notice the trend here? The best part about your talk is **drum roll please**
The reason why your talk is so important and inspires connection is because of the person who is telling it, and the reason behind it. You are the messenger and what you say matters. Your story can influence and inspire whomever you want, just make sure you have yourself in it.
Relate to the unrelatable and inspire the uninspired. YOU can do that.
Thanks for reading!
Lisa Holmes | Meet the spokesperson of Holmes. Since January 2018, Lisa Holmes has been a great addition to the Holmes team. She mainly focuses on meeting existing and potential clients and walking them through their marketing journey. Lisa is also great at connecting and creating lasting impressions with our clients.
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