You will think I have mastered my work after being paid to talk at conferences for over 30 years. Far from that! Far from that! I work actively to develop myself, and I work with a speech therapist in one way. One of the best investments I have made in my career is to partner with a mentor who in many aspects of my talk has found room for improvement. Some were significant changes and other variations. To both myself and the crowd, the net-net was a better experience.
There is a justification for athletes interacting with a mentor even at the top of their game. A coach can find opportunities that can develop, even small ones. Tiger Woods practices his place with his coach one of my favorite sport images. He also saw the need for a mentor at the peak of his golf game. Or maybe the guy pushed him up to the height of his game.
There are many reasons to employ a coach in the business world. Leaders want better leadership. Managers want better management. Better management. We want to be rock stars when it comes to making presentations — to the boss, our staff and our clients.
Meet the stars with Patricia Fripp. She partners with professional speakers as well as top management of some of the world’s largest corporations. For more than 30 years I had the privilege to meet and be named by Fripp, as she likes.
Fripp shared a recent task— or the word “challenge” may be more appropriate. “He’s not a bad speaker,” one client said. He’s smart, shy and humble, and an engineer. We’re not a business of pop stars of any kind. Write a talk to him. Transform it into a star of rock. You’ve got 4 hours. “She took the challenge, and she smashed it to put it in the novel. Moving O! Running O!
I asked Fripp to give some advice to anyone who has to talk closer to the title of rock star. She had a lot of insights on it. If you talk to one or more 1,000 people (or more), its tips will help you with your next chat. I’m going to do a little job myself with them!
- Strong Open: Strong opening is good. This is common sense. This is common sense. Engage the public with something that takes their attention away from any distractions or thoughts before your game. You can use an interesting statistical or rhetorical query or share a strong quote. The Technique of Fripp is, by beginning “Imagine…,” or “I wish you’d have been there,” to transport an audience at some particular place or time.
- Clear Thinking: Fripp says this clearly: “If you cannot describe in a single sentence what you are talking about, you may be guilty of a fluid focus or of trying to cover too many subjects.” There will be too much detail or a confuse target for a crowd that may trigger attention loss or even boredom. The goal is to come up with a single sentence or summary declaration. Keep your theme clear and your message will hit the audience clearly.
- Clear structure: You do need to have a clear structure, similar to simple thinking, which makes it easier for people to understand the words. The formula of Fripp is fairly simple. Start with a strong openings relating to your office; define your concept or core theme. List the reasoning or wisdom points supporting the premise and each with examples (stories, figures and studies of cases). What you have covered?
- Using memorable stories: these are memories. People may not remember precisely what you said, but they remember your story’s mental images. Enable your listeners to grasp your message with memorable characters and fascinating situations.
- Link to emotion: see how the audience will participate. Fripp indicates that the audience may not even know that it addressed an unspoken question: “What is in it to me?” Don’t say what you’re going to talk to them. Say what it’s going to teach them.
- Pause: It’s very subtle but very significant. Effect pause. Give them a few seconds to soak in. Fripp says, “As counterintuitive as it may seem, your listeners interact with you louder when digesting what they have heard. They are more likely to recall and echo the key ideas and messages, as they give the audience time to reflect about how their message relates to them.” You should communicate quickly while halting at the right time to offer the audience an opportunity to absorb its main thinking.
- Strong Close: You start with a strong open, so that you only have to close by a strong end. What was your biggest point? What would you like to do for the audience? Only mind them. Remind them. But challenge them, challenge them. Strong and unforgettable your final words.