May 26, 2008

Just be



One of the things that bothers me about some motivational speakers is the desperation.

Desperate to be profound
Desperate to be funny
Desperate to be heard
Desperate to be remembered
Desperate to entertain
Desperate to sell books
Desperate to be asked back

They're trying too hard, and everyone can see it in their hyper-emotional and stagey facial expressions and body language.

It's okay to try hard; we all want to engage our audiences and leave them with a powerful message. We all want to be memorable and have our audiences learn and grow from what we bring to them.

But overextending yourself in a way that's unnatural and inauthentic is distracting and makes the audience uncomfortable. The speech becomes more about you than about them, and that's when you've lost them.

Try just "being" with your audience for a change. Don't "be" something you're not. Don't "be" something you think they want to see. Don't try to "be" a motivational speaker.

Just be.

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Brandon said...

Thanks for this great post. It made me stop and think about a few things.

I have a friend who was fortunate to work with Tony Robbins for a number of years (like him or not, if you have ever seen him live...there are very few who can communicate at his level of effectiveness - in my opinion). She gave me a copy of a home video recording of him talking to a few individuals about communication. One aspect that comes to mind is his point on 'staying out of your own head' when speaking. Any time I have been talking and started consciously wondering how I'm doing...I inevitably make bigger mistakes! I've found it best to prepare well, then just let it flow! The chatter in my head..."am I being funny...how can I look better...what if no one buys...etc." never improves the experience for anyone! This one takes constant practice. Only with experience can a speaker learn to just "be" as you said.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

You're right, Brandon. It's not easy to "be" when you're just starting out, because those insecurities can really take over. But it's worth trying. . . a little bit at a time.

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