Posts Tagged ‘public speaking

10
Sep
13

Belief before Speech

 

Duck Dynasty  560Jim Rohn said, “Communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”  I recently watched a televised interview with the cast of the popular reality show Duck Dynasty. The interviewer commented that the cast members never watched the show to which one of them replied, “We don’t have to watch it. We live it!”

In a similar vein, a longtime family friend wrote about how he was given the opportunity to deliver a keynote due to a scheduling conflict on my father’s calendar. Several days before the speech, he asked my father if he would look over what he planned deliver to the group. My father told him there was no need to review. “Either the words are in your heart, or you are not ready.”

Jim Rohn and Charlie

Two greats believers and speakers!
Jim Rohn and Charlie “T” Jones

People want to hear what’s in our hearts because it’s the truest example of how we feel about something. And the only way to truly feel something is to have experienced it. That’s why the most powerful speakers and mentors are the ones who have not only talked the talk, but have actually walked the walk, and therefore have the strength of conviction that comes with experience. If you are scared to give a speech, it may be because you don’t believe strongly enough in your topic.

Now this doesn’t mean that you forgo preparation just because you can emote about an experience; on the contrary, preparing how you are going to deliver your beliefs is almost as important as the experience itself. It simply means that, if you lack experience, no amount of preparation will replace it. Without experiential conviction your talk is just theory, and theories are like opinions: everybody’s got one.

Content is king and experience breeds excellence; and a heart-felt belief is the most powerful voice in the universe.

19
Mar
13

so you think you can speak

Charlie "Tremendous" Jones doing what he does best...motivating!

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones doing what he does best…motivating!

I routinely get calls from folks looking for two things: they want me to publish or sell their books, and they want me to get them speaking gigs. My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned speaker and bestselling author. He claimed that teaching a Sunday school class to a bunch of eight-year-old boys is how he kicked off his public speaking career. I heard this many times growing up and thought, how on earth could speaking in a church basement to a small group of kids prepare you for speaking in front of millions of people??

Later in life, I got the chance to find out. There are three main reasons why speaking in front of children is one of the best ways to hone your public speaking skills.

Honing my speaking skills!

Honing my speaking skills!

1)      Be Simple! My father wrote about the SIB–KIS principle in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. It’s an acronym for See It Big–Keep It Simple. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” When you distill leadership principles or concepts to kids under ten, you have to really drill down to the basics.

2)      Be Engaging! Great public speakers know how to work the stage and engage the audience. This involves a great deal of movement, voice inflection, and activity. Nothing makes you “work it” like being facing 250 fifth graders staring expectantly at YOU! You better be good…no, you better be great! You better be funny! You better have great stories that capture their attention and you better be moving around and engaging them personally.

3)      Be Ready! There’s no doubt about it, kids say the darndest things. If they don’t think you’re a good speaker, they’ll let you know right away, sometimes even by saying it out loud! Watching the little ones’ body language teaches you immediately what’s working and what’s not. It also teaches you to be ready for any comment or activity at any time throughout your speech.

So you think you can speak? Why not volunteer at a local library, YMCA, or any of the numerous summer programs to test your mettle. Trust me; it’ll be the most challenging and rewarding speaking engagement of your life!

15
May
12

passion makes perfect

Too much practice makes a speech sound canned, an emotion fall flat, an activity seem routine. Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong. You may be wondering if there truly is something you couldn’t get wrong. There sure is: the decisions you make. You say, “I’ve made plenty of wrong decisions!” That’s not exactly true. Once you make a decision you make it yours, you die by it; you stick by it regardless of the odds or outcome. The decision isn’t what’s failed; it’s your commitment to making it work.

Once it’s in your heart, that’s when the decision is complete.  You have the know why, which is the engine that drives the know how.  A dear friend of mine recently shared a story about the time, years ago, when my father had hired him to speak at the close of an insurance company’s day-long program. My friend was not a professional speaker per se, but a lawyer. He accepted the offer since he was not about to tell his mentor “no”. Several days before the speech, my father asked about the upcoming event. My friend replied that he was ready but that he would need to review the presentation one more time. My father looked at him and said there was no need to review, “Either the words are in your heart, or you are not ready.”

When my father was in his final stages of cancer in 2008, he was confined to his hospice bed barely able to speak above a whisper. I made the trek to Pennsylvania from Missouri every weekend during those last three months. I waited patiently for him to discuss the future of the business with me. He never did. He never even asked me if I had thought about coming back and running the company. I could not understand why he didn’t ask.

But then it hit me. If it wasn’t in my heart to come home of my own volition, it wouldn’t be my decision. He knew if he asked I couldn’t say no. But he also knew that when the going got tough, I would be the first to suck my thumb and complain that I had left everything behind and come back at the behest of someone else. You see, when it’s your decision, you’ve got no one else to blame. When it’s your decision, you live and die by it. When it’s your decision, the end result doesn’t matter; it’s your commitment to the decision that matters. Passion is all about the journey, not the destination.

Final results have a funny way of always working out for those who stay the course. Maybe there are some detours along the way, but that’s what adds an element of surprise to all of life’s experiments. If it’s in my heart, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work out because I know I did everything within my power to make it work. And if it doesn’t work out, there’s something greater looming on the horizon that I had better get ready for. In the end, it’ll all work out. If it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end.

So keep on living life tremendously. If there is passion in your heart, you can’t possibly get it wrong.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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