7.29.2010

How to Deliver An Effective Message, Part 1

Are you ready to touch some lives?

School will be starting back soon, and that means the season of speaking engagements is about to take off. Also many organizations are looking for someone just like you to be that go-to expert in a particular subject to inspire audiences at their next convention or retreat.

By the time August is over, many colleges and university have already booked their speakers for the upcoming school year, but there is still a chance you can get booked. However, many high schools and charter schools have major budgets to bring in speakers as well. How do I know? I made some of their money last year. (smile)

As my speaking schedule is filling up, many have been asking me my tactics for getting booked, especially repeat clients. So I am writing this six-part series on “How To Deliver An Effective Message” to get you booked over and over again.

Ready? Let’s get after it! In this part one, let’s go into motive and making the connection.

A very important question to ask yourself is “What is my motive for speaking?” If you’re seeking to get applause, that’s easy. All you have to do is stand up, read a few clich├ęs, bang on the podium and people will clap. If you’re speaking just to be the center of attention and fill your ego, well that’s doable too. How about to just get the check and run? Yes, that’s doable too.

Some people waste years trying to just gain a reputation for being a “powerful speaker” yet fall short because they fail to do one crucial thing: make the connection.

If you want to get booked often, you have to focus on making a connection with your audiences. As you speak, making a connection with your audience means you’re not putting yourself above them. You value who they are and you desire to see them raise one degree higher after they hear your message. If you don’t connect with the audience first, you will walk away feeling like you just “dropped a bomb”, but in truth you only completed an exercise in ego-driven performances.

If you place no value in the people you’re speaking to then it’s hard to connect with them. The audience will readily know if you’re faking it.

Let me give you an example. Last year I was the opening speaker for a headliner who has been speaking a lot longer than me. The audience was predominately youth. My opening lasted only five minutes, but I felt I had made a connection. The main speaker spoke for thirty minutes, and in the middle of his speech one of the youth yelled out, “Man, bring Brother Jesse back up”. Besides being greatly embarrassed, the speaker got upset and started lashing out at them saying “See, that’s why ya’ll young folks can’t learn, because you don’t want to listen to us adults.”

It went downhill from there. He never recovered from that, and I eventually was invited back to speak at that same school and got paid. What happened? I think you can see for yourself.

Communicate from the heart and be genuine regardless if it’s a small or large audience. All of the speaking techniques found in books are no substitute for honest and sincere delivery that radiates a true desire to make people better. People can tell when you’re being fake.

Where does this leave the audience? What will they say on their evaluation form? Will they re-book you? Your connection will determine that.

In Part 2 we will deal with subject matter.


(You're welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad further on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook)