“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in message (5)


When you speak we are waiting for you to get to your point. 

When you speak we are waiting for you to get to your point. 

So get there faster, stay on it and don’t mess around with meandering message or little thought tributaries.

  1. Have an overarching context when you speak and use it as a filter for omission. Its never that you don't have enough to say but rather that you say too much that is not on point. A single word context helps.
  2. Remind  yourself and the audience often, what you are talking about and stay on task.
  3. Shut down the need to express your inner dialogue, you may think its cute to express that doubtful little voice when you speak but its actually self indulgent and distracting. So shush up the unnecessary comments that flash through your brain as a function of your nerves.
  4. Always realize that you have more than one speech in you so you don't have to share everything you know as if its your last lecture ever...think of having  series of talks not a singular talk and all shall be wonderful.
  5. Answer the ‘so what?’ question and people are more likely to get your point.

Stay on task, no one is listening, you don’t matter and no one cares...until you help them to! 

Stay on message!


Paint your words with pictures

When you are giving a speech or a presentation, it makes it easier for the audience to connect with and understand your message if you consider a visual element and show them your point while you tell it to them.

Any picture representation of your idea will increase audience engagement dramatically. The use of a "big picture" visual allows people to wander on purpose. We cannot speak fast enough for the human brain, so it is natural that some of your audience will not be listening to your words. Allow them to think about your point ahead of you by giving them a visual framework – a map to guide their thoughts.

Here are some different visual elements that you could use:

  1. Models, based on geometric shapes like circles triangles and squares
  2. Metaphors and analogies, based on every day life examples that people would know – e.g. the role of a compass or learning to drive
  3. Icons and symbols that convey meaning without the need for explanation – e.g. a stop sign or crucifix
  4. An actual picture of your point
  5. A graph, but not with too much detail
Paint your words with pictures.



The Mathematics of Retention

Too often when speaking in public, presenters try to give you all of their information. To be world class, don’t make too many points within your speech. Five points, give or take up to two, is the rule. We tend to retain what we can count on one hand. Presenters who presume to teach 21 tips in 21 minutes are pretty content-centred, and do not really respect the mathematics of retention.

Some tips:

1. Have 3-7 core messages to your presentation
2. Every 7-15 minutes or so, introduce a new point
3. Always have less rather than more. Fear makes us over-prepare content
4. Have a “bare bones” version of your speech prepared with 1-3 points only
5. Always have one overarching point for every speech, and make this very clear

Less is more.



The message continues once you have gone

Make a difference with your presentation.

Great public speakers use speaking as a means to an end. They don't get caught up in the speech. They realise that the speech is simply part of a larger process.

So what is the "bigger process" that your speech is a part of? Scope that out for people, so that they know what you're thinking, and where your message fits into the scheme of things.

Here are a few ideas to keep your message going once you've left the stage:

1. Map out the larger process that your speech is a part of, and address it in your speech.

2. Suggest action steps for people in your sessions.

3. Have an email follow-up system that automatically reminds people of their commitment made during their session.

4. Send out a white paper or e-book after your session as a bonus to those who commit to reading their notes within 3 days of attending your speech.

5. Find ways to stay in relationships with your audiences. Collecting emails for permission-based e-zines is a great way to do this.

It's not over when you stop talking.



An ancient battle has ended!

This battle has been going on for eons. It was most often fought in the corridors of academia but it's no longer got heat. It's over and to continue the resistance is futile. Small guerilla groups will continue to skirmish in small pockets holding out for the way things were in the bad old days. They are like warmongers, only happy and profiting if the conflict is still alive.

I am talking about the war between Method and Message. Which is more important? Something to say or a better way of saying it? The battle's over, finished, done! You can't have one without the other any more. See Barack Obama or Hans Rosling (www.ted.com)

There are casualties on both sides. On the Message side there are those who believe that what you say is what matters. Great content, rigorous thinking, solid evidence. On the method side, those who package thoughts of others and push them out. Great technique and packaging.

To take sides now is to doom yourself in the sharing of great ideas. You need both. You need your Cicero messages and Caesar charm.

Here's to world peace!

Three previously won battles:

  1. Form versus Function - completed; agreed to share the victory.
  2. The war for talent - talent won.
  3. Gen Y engagement - beware… anyone under 25! (just joking)
My next few Skirmishes:
  • The end of team building based on competition or problem solving.
  • Death to 360 degree feedback.
  • The end of email as we know it.
Phew! This war thing is tough. Be a great thinker and a great communicator. Use message AND method. Spend equal parts coming up with great ideas and broadcasting great ideas.

Matt Church

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