Be crystal clear about your message

August 7, 2010:

On June 15th I shared my first “tip”: a driver of expanding one’s personal effectiveness in front of an audience and fulfilling the five principles noted below.

TIP #1: Be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate: Being passionate drives all other effectiveness aspects of your presentation.

TIP #2: Be crystal clear about the point you wish to make. I am preparing for a major presentation tomorrow. I had general ideas of what I wished to say, but I had not initially gone through the self discipline of being precise about what I wanted to be crystal clear about to the audience.

I buckled down and focused my mind and gained clarity about the point(s) I wanted to make. Since those points were intimate to my personal mission statement it was easy for me to see myself gaining passion about the topic.

My intention will be to photograph the presentation and put it on u-Tube. If I think it is a reasonable presentation I will add a link to this note.

First principle: To come alive not only up in front of people but also in life in general. When I am upfront I am well aware of my personal concerns and worries about being upfront. As I find myself upfront in a supportive club, overtime I learn to overpower those worries and concerns. When I am less worried and concerned about how others think, while I am up front, I become less worried and concerned about what people think in my daily living. I become more of me.

Second Principle: Become reasonably articulate when you talk upfront. Being articulate is linked to and is a normal follow-on to the first principle. If I am not comfortable it is hard to be articulate. On the contrary though I could be comfortable up front and not particularly articulate. Most people join Toastmasters to be both comfortable and articulate.  For most of us, being articulate is a learned skill. When we are upfront we are often so self aware and disengaged from the audience, that our words do not really communicate. In fact when I am really disengaged I do not care if my words communicate or not. I just want to say the words and get off the platform. Toastmasters help people perfect the skill of getting out of their own heads and connecting to the audience.

Third Principle: I am comfortable and reasonably articulate, now say something useful, give a logical well organized presentation. Be able to talk from 5-15 minutes and stay on the same story line, no tangents. While presenting the story line stay connected with the audience to determine if they are getting the message. If they get the message, you have succeeded. Staying connected to the audience is often more challenging than learning to present the story. To stay connected I must know my material well enough that I do not need to think so much about what I am going to say, but stay more focused on the readiness of the audience to receive the message.

Fourth Principle: There is a principle between being articulate, #3 and being “world -changers” , #5. The fourth principle is being intentional, the level we hear from the TI World Champion Speakers. The speech is said with passion. The passion drives voice inflection and body movement. Each thought is ‘weighed’ and given the intentional emphasis so that the audience receives an impactful message. World Champion speeches are not influential speeches in their intent to get you to do something, but they are influential speeches in their intent to arouse emotion in the audience.

Fifth Principle: Give a message that moves people to action, a world changer. This I find particularly difficult. First I must believe in the topic enough to be willing to be ridiculed. I must believe in the message enough to give the time to follow up with those that do respond to the call for action. I must believe in the message enough to follow my own call to action: integrity. I must believe in my message enough to really sell an idea and be willing to deal with the angst of people feeling uncomfortable about being “sold.”

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