As I begin my year-end review-- (I know it’s early; but it doesn’t hurt to begin thinking about it…) I make a list of what I’ve learned and what was really good about this year. Then after I’ve done that, I’ll begin to create space for my growth--i.e. what I need to work on to move forward.
(Don’t worry, I’ll do an email on just that topic in a couple of weeks--so you can do it too.)
But today I want to share one thing that really “landed” for me this year--more than ever before: The impact of BREVITY.
“You mean talking less?” Yes, TALKING LESS!
If you pay attention to speakers-- either when presenting to a group or talking with another person--once the they get the “microphone” or their turn to speak, they are very reluctant to be concise and to the point. There’s almost a need to be heard or “occupy” the space within their own voice. And that is the complete opposite of effective communication!
Interviewing and coaching speakers for TEDxNewBedford made me realize this-- more than ever-- how people will ADD words when there is a lack of CLARITY in their message.
Yes, it sounds absolutely ridiculous-- but that is what I experienced.
I knew this in my head, but it was out there as we interviewed over fifty people this year. We began ALL interviews with one simple question: “What is the idea YOU want to share with the audience?” Every single time we asked that question there was silence on the other side.
“One idea?” they would ask.
“Yes.” we would answer.
“Well, let me tell you my story first,” they would volunteer.
Here’s the thing-- Our thoughts and ideas are wrapped in stories, and that is a good thing, as long as we can use these stories to serve the idea or thought we want to share--not the other way around!
This sounds so obvious and simplistic.
Try it for yourself.
Here’s the test:
Can you summarize what you want to share in your next conversation, group meeting or presentation in one or two short sentences? If you can’t, then you are not CLEAR on what you you want to say. This is the way I now begin every message--whether I’m writing a script for a speaking engagement, an email or blog post.
Getting really CLEAR on what you want to communicate is imperative to driving the message home!
Why is this important?
Because if you are standing in front of an audience, you want to connect with them and have them walk away with something of value
Because, unfortunately, as human beings, we are so bombarded with content everywhere that we have lost the capacity of figuring out what the speaker is really trying to say. (It is sad--as this is something we need to keep alive in ourselves through creative writing, poetry etc.) But it is the truth about most audiences right now.
Because, at all costs, you want to avoid the glassy-eyed expression you get from either your teenagers, students or the millennials on your team.
Because your boss only gives you two minutes to make your point.
Because when you are clear in what you are saying, you can infuse your emotion around it. Your passion and stories build resonance!
I’m thinking of putting together a webinar on this topic and sharing some strategies I used when coaching my TEDx speakers. Would you be interested in this? I promise to be brief. :-) If so, let me know by adding your name to this group: The Power of Brevity, a 15-minute tele class.
Was this helpful? Send me an email or leave a comment on social media. Want to have a private conversation? Schedule time to connect.
(By the way, I’ll be in Buenos Aires December 30-January 7. If you want to connect, send me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet.)
Have a great weekend.
Dolores is a Strategist & Clarity Coach. She works with high achievers and helps them define the strategies they need to succeed in life and business. What separates her services from other strategists is that she only works with entrepreneurs and professionals looking to double the size of their business and reach a larger audience. Because of this, she is very focused on her services and leads her clients out of the fog and into the clarity where they co-create their unstoppable, clear strategy and lay the groundwork for their measurable success in 100 days. Her platform word is CLARITY from where she leads her clients into the crafting and implementation of their winning strategy.