all about: How to Get the Most Out of The Big Conversation
"Begin with the end in mind" - Steven R. Covey
Steven R. Covey is often cited for this astute observation, "Begin with the End in Mind". Envision what you want in the future so you can work and plan towards it.
For a speaker this means figuring out, "What is the one thing I want my audience to take away from my speech?"
For executive speakers, this might translate into having the audience buy-in to a new business strategy.
For a professional platform speaker, this could be applause and ovations as their audience embraces their core message.
But how do you get there from nowhere?
End with the beginning in mind.
Let's flip Mr. Covey on his head and say, "End with the beginning in mind."
Begin by figuring out what you feel passionate about speaking and sharing with others. What are the details and insights you can share about this passion that will attract an audience to your message?
Master these stories to support and illustrate the points you intend to make.
As a speaker or a leader, this is the most worthwhile exercise you can do for your mind. It's the mental equivalent of lifting free weights at the gym.
The more you do of it, the stronger your “memory” muscle becomes. The stronger the memory muscle becomes, the more readily you will use it. The more you use your memory muscle, the more fluent and spontaneous you will become about your passion and what matters most to your audience.
The Big Conversation:
The Most Important Conversation You Will Ever Have
The most important conversation you will ever have with anyone on the planet is the one you have with yourself.
In my coaching practice, my clients have come to know this exercise as "The Big Conversation".
If you're like most people, you go through your day consumed by the things before you. You rarely take the time to examine, classify, and catalogue the events of each day.
If you’ve lived your whole life without examining, classifying, and cataloguing any of your experiences you may have a veritable log jam of data in your brain just floating around with no place to call “home”.
Experiences are like untethered boats in a harbor, with no place to dock and be boarded. If you don’t tie them up, they’ll just drift out to sea and sink.
The 20 minute Memory Muscle Workout
So, get a journal, word processor or tablet. Something where you feel you can consistently commit to this practice and begin recording your experiences.
At the end of each day, take 15 – 20 minutes to write down answers to these 3 simple questions regarding the events of the day. What happened on a project? What is going on at work? What are your clients saying? The list is endless once you start listening and answering.
- How did it make you feel?
- What knowledge did you gain?
- What were the key points of each experience?
This process is similar to peeling and onion; there may be tears, but the result is unmistakable.
To become a successful speaker and leader you can't avoid this process. It is difficult to be the expert in the room when you have not done the self-examination required to become the expert on you and your passion.
Will you catalogue your entire life? If that suits your needs, why not? But think about this, what is your "End in Mind" target?
- What is your area of expertise?
- How do you feel about it?
- What insights can you easily access that will support your end goal?
- What stories can you tell about your experience and passion that will draw an audience to your message?
Start listening to yourself before you ask an audience to listen to you.
Begin "The Big Conversation" today.