The following is a copy of my recent speech. This is a 7 minute speech. Some of the strategies tested during the speech include:
- Tap, Tease, Transition from Craig Valentine. This is where you ask the audience a question (tap), they answer the question but you don’t disclose the answer as yet to capture their curiosity (tease). You then cleverly (transition) to tell a story to make your point and have the audience’s full attention.
- For each point, tell a story. One story for each point/message conveyed
- Body language. Using body language to convey the messages.
- The magic number 3. People remember 3 points more so than 4 or 5. Or 3 ideas placed side by side, 3 examples, 3 metaphors. 3 is the magic number.
- Allude or refer to an earlier point to make the message even stronger.
(see comments in red below on where the strategies was utilised and outcome):
Let me ask you a question what is the number #1 reason why people don’t succeed in something?
(#comment : Tap)
(Audience answers) All your answers are great, and if you listen to them they all have one thing in common. They’re all wrong (laughing). (#comment : Tease) They’re not wrong. They’re just not the number #1 reason in my opinion that gets in the way.
(#comment: Here I had the audience’s full attention, everyone had full eye contact and very curious in wanting to know the answer. For some reason the audience reminded me of Meerkats – Alert, curious and upright)
You see, I’ve never been much of a runner (#comment : Transition into the story. This is much more effective than saying ‘Let me tell you a story’ because by now the audience wants to come on the journey with you since you have their full attention)
Over the last month I’ve been training for the Sydney Urbanathlon which is to occur next week. It is an 11km run with 10 obstacles around the city.
At first I struggled in my training with running up to only 5km.
During my training I reasoned that it was because:
- I had reached my limit or
- That my head was hurting or
- My legs started to get sore and my back was heavy.
(#comment : Magic number 3. 3 points above)
I was looking for a way to stop running. And guess what, what you focus on is what you get.
I mean who needs to run anyway when you can walk to your destination? When you can cycle? Or when you can kick your legs up as passenger and have someone drive you to your destination? (#comment : Magic number 3)
The only reason why I couldn’t run the 11k distance in my training was because I was running the wrong strategy.
You see between April 2011 and January this year Pat farmer who is a remarkable Australian ran 80km each day (that’s 2 marathons) none stop, no days off for 10 months straight from the north pole to the south pole. That’s every single day including weekends.
In unfamiliar terrain, through cold weather and amongst polar bears. The only time he kicked his legs up was to sleep, eat or to get foot massage. (#comment : Magic number 3)
I mean what excuses do I have left to run 11km in familiar terrain, good Sydney weather and a warm place to sleep at night. None whatsoever! None! No excuses.
The #1 reason why people fail at something is because we stop tweaking our strategy. We stop creating new reference points. (#comment : Here I answered the first question above, but mentioned ‘New reference points’ which the audience is still curious about)
When I decided to tweak my strategy, simply by making small adjustments to preparation, focus and mindset, in just 3 additional runs I was able to double my running distance from 5km to 11km to meet the required training distance. I still think the distance is quite poor by the way.
It is only when until you see positive changes and progress you will then really appreciate that prior to that it’s all just an excuse nothing more, nothing less.
What are reference points?
I mentioned earlier that people stop creating new reference points. (#comment: Alluding to an ealier point)
Who here has heard of or played the Super Mario game? You know how to finish the game Mario must rescue the princess?
To get there Mario must go through a series of levels as checkpoints.
These checkpoints are like reference points, only until you overcome one level at a time can you finish the game.
I remember playing some of the hardest levels in Super Mario Bros with my mates where I got to the last stage and it was extremely hard to get through.
I must have tried the same way over 35 times because I was convinced that it was the right approach. The swearing was getting louder and louder each time.
I started to swing my control pad around, to give Mario that extra boost. Only to fail miserably.
Look I wasn’t the best at computer games, but I realized that trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome was borderline insanity. In fact it was insane.
I eventually tweaked my approach until I was finally able to finish off the game and rescue the princess. I spend months playing that game.Two months later Super Mario Bros. 2 came out – let’s just say I had mixed emotions.
Reference points are important because we can continue off from the last checkpoint like in Super Mario Bros. Often you don’t have to start from the beginning.You know that once you have accomplished something, it’s done no one can tell you otherwise. If you have created milestones nobody can take that away from you.
How to create new reference points?
To create new reference points and often you venture into territories you haven’t been before, a new place, a new interest, new friends, something fearful, new locations, new career or relationships. New strategy. In unfamiliar terrain and territory. (#comment: Alluding to an ealier point)
The #1 reason why people don’t succeed in something is because they stop tweaking their strategy. They run through old ways, old checkpoints and reference points, running through the same level the same way and expecting a different outcome.
My question to you is what new reference points have you created this year and are you proud of them?
(#Comment: I had fun presenting this speech. After using the abovementioned strategies I was able to maintain the audiences curiosity and attention from beginning to end. Further improvements needed in pausing)