Do you speak or write for public consumption? Presentations at work, teaching students, training co-workers, speaking to organizations and groups?
I think the ideas below can help you elevate your speaking or writing.
Think about these realities we live with:
1. TedTalks and easy access to millions of speakers online have pushed our expectations for public speaking way up.
2. Shorter than ever attention spans demand we be more focused in our messaging.
3. Hundreds of online videos, posts, ads, and emails cloud the landscape we are trying to communicate in.
It’s a difficult spot to be in, but I think it’s also a great time to be a communicator.
So, how do you elevate your public speaking or writing?
Here are 7 ideas:
NARROW YOUR FOCUS - Don’t try to communicate everything at once! Split up your content into a series of 3 blog posts or lectures, etc. Keep one big idea at the center of your message. Eliminate distractions because people need laser-focused communication.
REVIEW YOUR WORK - I spend a ton of time reviewing my words prior to presenting them but growth and improvement also requires debriefing our work afterward. Find a way to record your presentation and review it after the fact. What got a response? What connected? What was too long or complicated?
GET INSPIRATION FROM OTHERS - Don’t live in a bubble but listen/read/watch other speakers and teachers. I have a handful of leaders I listen to while stuck in Atlanta traffic or at the gym. Change it up every once and a while…and maybe listen to some people from a different tradition or fields of study.
MAKE IT LAST BEYOND THE MOMENT - Let your content last beyond your delivery. Publish a slide or quote or idea on Facebook later in the week, have an archive on your website, or create a conversation guide for your community to use. All of these things keep the conversation going beyond the weekend/workshop/session and helps to embed your message more firmly in people’s minds.
START EARLY - Don’t wait until the last minute to start working. Keep the theme / idea in your mind. Find the time when you are at your creative best - early morning, mid day, afternoon, late night - and schedule time in your calendar to make it happen!
DON’T WRITE ALONE - Poll your Facebook friends. Talk through ideas with friends, family, co-workers. We are better together. These people will help you see angles and issues you couldn’t on your own.
USE MEDIA - Nothing makes a message stickier than visual media! Our culture is so visual! Use movie clips, pictures, illustrations, etc.
How about you? What ideas have you found helpful in elevating your writing?