Are you funny? Serious? Expressive? Straight-talking? Loud? Heart-centric?
The trick to being an effective speaker is to be yourself while still adapting to various types of people within your audience. You want to be connected with them and find a mutual bond.
You have got to know yourself and be honest about that. The more you explore your own style, your strengths and your weaknesses, the more you are able to express yourself authentically.
Not everyone will like your style, and that is great. The most successful people are able to repel people as much as they attract. The stronger you define yourself, the stronger you are able to attract the right people to hear you. If you try to be all things to all people, then you will find it difficult to give anybody REAL VALUE.
Plus, the more you focus on your strengths as a speaker, the more you can EXCEL at those strengths.
Let me relate it back to a sporting analogy, since it’s all about performance. I became an Olympian Beach Volleyball player by focusing on my strengths – fitness, agility, athletic jump, deft shots and a strong serve. I did enough to cover my weaknesses, but if I had spent all my time on blocking, for example, I would not have gotten as far as I did.
So how do you get honest with yourself?
1. Do a self-review
What works for you and what doesn’t. What feels comfortable and what feels fake?
2. Ask for feedback
Conduct a survey either yourself or with the hand of a Branding Expert. I worked with Paul Copcutt early this year to get clear on my brand and the process involved getting feedback from over 20 people to get a wide perspective of what I projected, my strengths and weaknesses. Let’s face it, you don’t see yourself as clearly as others do.
3. Use a Personality Profile Tool
There are many to choose from and I’ve done most of them….one of my profile assessments even states that it is my nature to like personality profile tools – ha, ha, I’m very introspective!
Last week I introduced you to Sally Hogshead Fascination Advantage Assessment and it is what prompted me to write about your speaking style.
If you want to be true to yourself AND be fascinating as a speaker, then this assessment can really help you. (By the way, the special invitation to do this assessment expires July 25, use code BL-ALynch)
An assessment like this might not tell you anything you don’t already know, but it might give you a different perspective and allow you to take greater ownership of a skill that perhaps you take for granted.
For example, my assessment tells me that I combine MYSTIQUE (the language of listening) and INNOVATION (Creativity). Funny to be primarily a “Listener’ when I am a speaker. And it makes sense – I like to listen to my audience and put the spotlight on them and my message, rather than making it about me.
It also describes me as one who THINKS BEFORE I SPEAK.
Now that IS helpful to know, as I have taken that for granted, and I now know that that might not be easy for everyone. It’s not enough to tell people to prepare well before they speak. They might need some guidance on how exactly to prepare. With my training programs I help others to think before they speak or present.
It also means that as a Speaker, I can take greater ownership of the fact that my presentations are well thought-out and INSIGHTFUL.
So what’s YOUR ADVANTAGE when it comes to speaking?
Do you speak with lots of PASSION and expression?
Passion can be a great advantage for speaking. It’s very engaging and captivating. But don’t just rely on passion. You still want to back up your passion with a message of substance.
I know I’m not the most passionate speaker. I can do it, but it doesn’t feel as natural as well I simply speak from the heart. Even though it’s not natural, I still want to dip into my Passion to make sure I connect with those in the audience that speak the language of Passion.
That is the ART – to use your natural dominant style and to tap into whatever you can of the other Languages to be able to touch everyone in the audience.
Other advantages described by Sally Hogshead are PRESTIGE, POWER, ALERT and TRUST. Sally will also tell you your DORMANT advantage. Mine is Trust, which doesn’t make me untrustworthy. It just means I don’t do the things that other people might equate to trust, such as sticking to a routine and being consistent with my blog-writing, or follow-up.
I could work on that, OR better still, I can let go, focus on my strengths and hire help and systems to cover the rest (just as my beach volleyball partner jumped, literally, to do the blocking for me.)
Find out your strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly what sets you apart. Get to know yourself and take the Fascination Advantage Assessment at http://www.howtheworldseesyou.com/you using my code BL-ALynch. I don’t get anything from the referral other than the satisfaction I am helping you to be fascinating.
Have fun, and be sure to come back here and share what you learn about being fascinating and your style of speaking in the comments below.