"Nobody is a villain in their own story. We're all the heroes of our own stories."
George R. R. Martin
One of the great joys of speaking may be found in that moment when something you say inspires or motivates your audience. There are two ways you can make this happen.
The first is through sharing deeply profound insights that clear the cobwebs from your audience’s mind, allowing them to see clearly through to an outcome you envision.
The second is through the telling of inspiring and motivating stories.
If you take option number 2, you should tell stories of audacity to inspire and tenacity to motivate. When you tell these stories, they will have greater impact on your listeners if they have you as the hero.
I have heard many speakers, keenly intent on inspiring their audiences, tell heroic stories of other people’s accomplishments. True as these stories may be, they lack the first-person credibility a speaker needs to add gravity to the inspiring point they seek to make.
One reason for this, is many speakers do not feel comfortable telling stories of their own audacious experiences. They view this act as “bragging”. But, it is not. It is merely the opportunity to humbly share lessons learned through your own experience at the crucible of life.
Audacity (being audacious) is the ability to take bold risks. If you want to really inspire your audience, take the time to reexamine your life and look for those moments when you stepped outside of your comfort zone. It could be the story of your first time away from home or you're the time you took on a project without any idea of how you would pull it off. Audiences are inspired when they hear stories about the possibilities of human endeavor. The stories that resonate the most with them are delivered through first person testimony.
When audiences hear you tell stories about the achievements of famous people, the listening rule they follow is “If the story is not about you, then why are you telling me?” To be your most effective as a speaker, open up and let them hear about your trials and triumphs.
When I speak on success, I often ask my audience if they have “A capacity for tenacity?”
My goal with this question is to help them gain an understanding that success is not an instant experience, but an accumulation of many instances of success over time. In other words, you can motivate your audience to see why a dream is possible if they can attach themselves to the bigger vision with a massive amount of tenacity.
One story I tell is how I trained my dog to ring a bell hanging by our back door to alert us when she needed to go outside. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but for the dog and our family it was. This story combines elements of overcoming the nay-sayers, calling upon extreme ingenuity and innovation, patience, understanding, commitment to the vision, teamwork and success.
When your audience learns, through your stories, that no dream of theirs is too small to be given their all, they will become motivated to reach for newer and bigger goals.
HEROES AND VILLAINS
George R. R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones series said, "Nobody is a villain in their own story. We're all the heroes of our own stories."
To be a really effective speaker you must feel comfortable being the hero of your stories. To inspire your audiences, you will need to seek out the memories of where you have boldly gone and look for the wisdom within the tale. You can use this to drive home the critical point of what you want to say. To motivate your listeners to new heights, you will have to revisit the life experiences that will help others learn the value of focused commitment as a means toward achieving greatness.
Have no fear, speakers can be heroes too.
Thanks for your support as a reader of my blog and I eagerly welcome any comments on this post or suggestions you might have for a future blog on a topic near and dear to you in the comments section below. As always, please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague.
To Your Speaking Success,
The Speech Wiz