Do you have a lot to say? Do you wish you could say more in less time? Are you aware of one of the most common mistakes speakers make, that they don’t even realize they’re making? It’s one of the many differences between the average speaker, and a World-class speaker.
This past weekend, I enjoyed attending the Lady and the Champs Speakers’ Conference as much as any of our attendees. I learned so much from Craig Valentine, Ed Tate, and Patricia Fripp.
During one of Fripp’s sessions, she pointed out this exact idea.
I realized the brilliance of what she said in an instant! It’s what Mark Brown had to “coach” out of me when I was competing for the World Championship. It still affects my speaking & speaker coaching today. It’s one of the reasons I was able to say so much in a short speech. (Now, I wish I could edit it down even more!)
Have you ever heard a speaker say in a story,
1.) “…and then he asked her a question…”
2.) “He turned to her as he looked down…”
3.) “She was so angry, she yelled…”
These are classic examples of word wasters!
They are all unnecessary. To paraphrase what Patricia Fripp said: “Use Verbal, or Visual – Never both!”
Here would be my coaching:
1.) Just ask!
“Barbara, why are you…”
We can tell by using the recipient’s name (Frippicism) who it is directed towards, and if we phrase it in a question, we know it’s a question!
2.) Just turn and look down!
If we’re with you in the story, we can see you turning, we can see you looking down!
3.) Just yell!
“THOMAS! WHERE ARE YOU!?”
It will be better delivery, and will add vocal variety, and save you words along with precious time!
Every day, I sat at my desk at my day-job while looking at my “Ouch!” speech in progress, trying to find ways to get my point across in fewer words. In that speech, I tell the story of telling my parents I want to be a comedian. In the story, my parents have no dialogue, but in that 17-second story, you know exactly what happened.
I challenge you to transcribe one of your speeches or your signature story. Any time you see action verbs or narration, ask yourself. “Would it be more powerful with just the visual?”
Will you remember, the visual or the verbal, NEVER both?