Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bullet Points Are Not Enough

No, bullet points are not enough.
Are you talkin' to me? Or are you talkin' AT me?

It's the big difference between speaking and lecturing.
Between telling and teaching.
Between preaching and inspiring.

But it can be so easy to miss. The Art of Conversation from stage. Just writing that title makes me want to go write a book, but right now you don't have the time to read one, do you? You're here, you want it quick and dirty, and you want it now, right?

See what I did there?
I didn't tell you, I asked you. I tried to get into your head. I looked for agreement. I could have bullet pointed the process - but I would have missed the opportunity to connect with you, to throw in some faint sarcasm, and be real with you.

Same thing goes on stage. It's easy to get wrapped up in all you want to tell your audience. You've got expertise, after all. You're stories are interesting, and you've worked your tail off on them. And they are the ones who brought you in, so they must want you to regale them with knowledge every second, to tell them exactly where they are, how they got there, and why they need to move...right?

Well, sorta.
They do want to hear you, yes. They are praying you're interesting and funny and can give them something new. But they also desperately want you to understand them, to relate to them, even, in some cases, to approve of them, before they are willing to let you actually change them.

Bullet points don't change people, conversations do. Explain. Cajole. Tell stories. Ask questions. Bring up their emotions, their doubts, their fears, their longings, and follow up by reminding them of their victories, their strengths, and their possibilities.

You might be in front of your audience, but your message must be inside your audience. Talk to them. Only then will you truly learn to Speak....& Deliver.

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