I'm a Communications/Media Executive With a Past Life on TV and a Passion for Building Brands & Growing Exposure

Friday, November 13, 2015

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Your Next Speech - Rule Number ONE

How many big words do you know?  How good were you with vocabulary in grammar school?

Two questions that tie into something everyone should know when working on their next speech. 

I’ve written more than a few … for me and for others.  And I’ve seen plenty come across my desk from speakers, and communications folks writing speaking points for their corporate executives.

Golden Rule in Speech Writing
Here is the ONE simple rule when writing your speech.

“Write like you speak, and never speak like it’s written.”

Think about it.  Big words are great on paper, good for journalists telling stories with descriptive words, and valuable for authors of books.  But rarely, if ever, do people drop the big words on people in conversation.  And after all, speeches are supposed to be conversational.

So... think back to your grammar days when you were learning basic vocabulary words.  To this day, adults engage in conversation using the most basic words, not the most complex.  We want people to stay with us, not lose focus trying to understand what it is you are saying.

Put the Dictionary Away - Converse
Public speaking is a non-written form of communication that is meant to be conversational.  I’ve never heard anyone say “kill them with information and as many big words as you can.”  Instead, it’s about holding people’s attention and engaging your audience.  We do that through dynamic verbal delivery, not a spoken delivery of the dictionary.

So when writing your next speech … try not to worry about every last word.  Write for delivery of your message because our goal is not to create an audience “word search,” but to send people out the door ready to spread your message.

Thanks for reading along.  I welcome your opinion by following me on Twitter @KraigKann and sharing your views.
Thought of the Day: The successful speech isn't about blowing people away with scripted information, it's about dynamic delivery of a repeatable message that provides value.

Monday, August 17, 2015

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Finding Your Personal "Command Center"

NASA has one.  The White House has one.  Television networks have them.  Disaster Relief efforts certainly have them.  It’s the epicenter, the core and the heartbeat of every major organization.  The central location and the hub through which everything runs. A "command center."

So why wouldn’t we have one too?  The fact is, we do.

Each of us is built on a foundation of core beliefs, values and personality traits.  It’s what makes you become you.

Who are YOU?
Have you ever taken the “StrengthsFinder” test?  Google it … find it, buy the book, take it.  It’s worth it – in case you haven’t already figured out who you are.

You will find out your top FIVE personality traits and how they fit you professionally.

My guess is that you will quickly see how it fits into presenting yourself to others.  And it that case, the things that make you a worthwhile speaker.  We are all wired differently but if you make speaking appearances with regularity, the Strengths test probably gives you a clue as to why you have the opportunities you do.

Back to “command” … because having true “command” of an audience requires confidence in yourself and your abilities.  Knowing what you’re good at certainly helps.

Having "Command" Equals Knowing Your Strengths
Your best speech requires  delivering – not only information – but a strong, compelling  message to an engaged audience... making sure that all of your strengths are attached.

·         If you’re a real “people person” – engage the audience through involvement

·         If you’re a “storyteller” – engage the audience sharing some of your relevant best

Challenge Peoople to THINK About What's Possbile
·         If you’re an “ideas person” – engage the audience with things that make them think

·         If you’re a “details person” – engage the audience with powerful statistical data

At the heart of every presentation is YOU … the "delivery person."  It’s important to figure out what you stand for ...before finding the best way to stand out.

And with that … comes personal confidence, a commanding presence and the ability to “own the room.”
Thanks for checking in on this blog post ... and sharing with those around you.  I welcome your comments here ... and via Twitter @KraigKann

Thought for the Day: The best speakers are the most authentic and the most engaging.  Remember, they picked you for a reason.  That alone should give you the confidence needed to deliver with impact.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

MEDIA COACHING: Avoiding a Complete Waste of Time

Debates Are Messaging Opportunities
With every presidential election comes the time for debate.  And lots of them.  Debate, debate, debate.  Every candidate jostling for position and a chance to state his or her position.  24 million people watched it last week – I’m guessing that included YOU.

If you are frequently interviewed, I’ll advise you to watch these debates.  Not because I’m forcing politics on you… but instead to see how each candidate handles the questions.  It’s a fascinating “watch.”

Trust me when I say that everyone who is good to great on the receiving end of questions has a message.  And with that overall message comes things that they MUST say if they are to succeed with their mission.

As someone who’s interviewed superstar athletes, celebrities and presidents too … I know when someone is there to be interviewed, or there to deliver a message.  It’s a huge difference.

Three Pieces of Advice
Here’s my three pieces of advice the next time you get the platform

·         Know your information and know the interviewer – the first part is obvious and the second gives you an idea of what you are in for.  Will they drill you with questions or engage you in conversation?  Those are two very different approaches because a conversationalist provides a sense of dialogue over sound bite.

·         Know your message – this is really the most important thing.  Going into an interview without a real “message” is really a complete waste of time.  In a sense, you've given up all control and are simply filling in someone else’s blanks with "response."

Three Key Messages - REGARDLESS of Questions
·         Have a “three things list” – and I advise this of everyone!  While preparing, and working on your message … identify the three things you need your audience to know regardless of the questions. Ask yourself “what do I need them to leave with?” or “what must they know about me and my values?” or “what do I want them to share with others?”

WHY are you Doing This Interview?
The easiest way to gain confidence going into an interview is to have the answer to why.  Why are you here?  If you don’t have the answer to that, then you really don’t have a purpose - all you have is an unused platform.

Thanks as always for reading and sharing this blog post.  I hope you find it helpful and I welcome your feedback here with comments at the bottom, or via Twitter @KraigKann.

Thought for the Day: Answering people’s questions does simply that.  Acknowledging people’s questions and delivering your message is the real key to success.  It is what politicians rehearse over and over and one of a person’s key brand-building tactics.