A public speaking technique
that never fails
Let’s engage our imagination in a new way
The cat … and the alien probe
A huge and restless audience awaits the arrival of a specialized speaker on the subject of the psychological benefits of involving pets/animals in the rehabilitation of trauma victims … of alien anal probes.
The speaker is running 10 minutes late.
Your boss tells you to get up on stage and speak about the subject to keep the audience happy until the official speaker arrives.
You know nothing about the subject (or at least I hope you don’t) … or do you?
What do you do?
The answer is simple …
“Speak from your “expert” perspective”
As a confident creative speaker, you take a minute to think about your own experiences with being abducted by aliens.
No luck there, but all is not lost.
Relate the topic to a powerful personal experience.
It doesn’t matter what, as long as there is some sort of link to the topic.
Okay, you do have personal experiences with pets that you can relate to the audience … you remember something from your childhood where you felt comforted having your pet cat around.
So now you jump up on stage …
“Ladies and gentlemen, there was a time that my pet cat became my only friend as a child, or so I sometimes imagined …”
And you relate YOUR personal experience with the cat.
You are the world’s leading authority on the subject of your personal experience with that cat, and the audience can relate back to their own experiences with pets.
Engage your audience.
Don’t speak “at” them, engage them in a conversation. Usually posing questions can achieve this well (“Can you remember when . . . ? Have you ever . . . ? Isn’t it great when . . . “)
“… it was touch and go, ha, ha.
Have YOU ever over-reacted to an injury before?
Anyway, anyone not aware of how small my injury was would have been horified by my reaction. I was convinced ..“
The audience is reminded of their own personal childhood injury experiences.
Things are going well.
Speak from the heart.
Whatever it is that you have to say, say it with passion and meaning.
“That cat saved me, or so I imagined at the time …“
The audience is actually enjoying your speech because you are an expert on this topic, and they can relate to your experiences.
The ten minutes are nearly up.
Finish by making a clear point
“My mom put a bandaid on my toe, kissed it better, and I was okay once again.
The love and comfort from my pet cat helped me more than anything that day, I will never forget. It is the source of my passion for this great cause”
It’s okay to leave them laughing.
As the guest speaker walks onto the stage, with the applause for your introduction resonating through the halls, he has to be thinking …
“This person is a tough act to follow”
Nothing you will ever have to face in real life will be as tough as that subject.
A final point.
If you witness something, or you hear about something in a way that impacts you, it is still possible to relate your own “personal” experience to that subject. For example:
“I remember turning on the television and seeing the World Trade Center collapse”
YOU TRY THIS
Practice this skill … interact with others (especially kids):
- Pick on someone who deserves it . . . your partner, the kids, your parents, or the neighbors with the noisy dog;
- Tell them what you are trying to achieve and ask if they can assess/critique you at the end;
- Ask them to pick a topic, any topic, the crazier the better;
- Take a minute to prepare and maybe think about the points I’ve made above;
- Speak for at least one full minute on the subject as an expert of your own personal experience;
- Ask the listener if they thought that you made a clear point at the end.
Lesson TEN Summary: Public Speaking
When you speak about your personal experiences, there is no “right or wrong”, no argument, no debate, no question . . . YOU are the ONLY authority that can relate your own personal experiences.
- Always speak from personal experience;
- Engage your audience;
- Speak from the heart;
- Finish by making a clear point.
You will always be an “expert” speaker if you talk about your own experiences and/or points of view.
Go to lesson 11
. . . to learn how to combine things for original and improved outcomes
DO YOU HAVE AN OPEN MIND?
I don’t, not really.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve traveled through life building some clear, intelligent viewpoints that you can substantiate and articulate well. You have a lifetime of gathered experiences and supporting evidence to back them up. The older I get, the LESS flexible my thinking. (I must be getting very, very old I think)
Blinkered thinking is an inevitable outcome of life’s longevity. However, life gave me one hell of a shake-up. I met a supposedly real witness to an alien UFO encounter. Something I will be eternally grateful for and something I would like to share.
WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE TRUSTED THE ALIENS is a personal journey of discovery as the shackles of my lifetime of experiences and beliefs are smashed. That journey has been recreated, with artistic license, so that the reader can fully appreciate the magnitude of my personal discoveries, the significance of what I’ve uncovered that potentially threatens the very existence of mankind.
The writing of WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE TRUSTED THE ALIENS is nearing completion. Your journey is about to begin.
Check out the concise definition: What is lateral thinking?
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These free lateral thinking lessons are brought to you by Michael John Muxworthy
2 thoughts on “Lesson 10 – Public Speaking”
This might sound weird, but for me, I’d almost feel more confident speaking about something I didn’t know about, and draw on past experiences as per your example above to get me through. Maybe that’s because people aren’t looking to me as the expert.
What about a topic that I am an expert in, but when it comes to speaking in public, the nerves and anxiety kick in, and risk sabotaging the quality of the content and delivery?
If you believe that YOU are the world’s leading expert on a generic topic, there will be those that disagree or challenge that. Always. If you speak as an “expert” but relate to your own personal experience, two things happen:
1. You cannot be successfully challenged because YOU are the ONLY expert in your own experiences;
2. As you relate your PERSONAL experiences, others will be able to relate to your experience. A much more powerful and memorable communication.
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