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  • Want To Give A Great Speech: Don’t Give A Speech

    Why is this important to me right now – does this demand urgency – and why me: why are you asking me to do it. Tell me how, what you describe in the next forty-minutes is going to change my life.

    We hear speeches – all the time. Important speeches, unnecessary speeches: speeches from those who impose on us, from those trying to teach us: from those who reprimand us and those who want to inspire us.

    It’s simple – speeches don’t work: but stories do.

    If you want to give a great speech: don’t give a speech.

    When I was first starting Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, I was giving speeches to potential

    Courtesy: Robert Mobley/PhotoXpress Free Images

    investors, to potential employees and I bombed. I realized that if I sold the vision: told the story of where we would be a year from now – that would be captivating. So I stopped giving speeches and sold the story.

    I believe that too often speeches get in the way of the value: yes, we need to convey and disseminate the nature and importance of our offering, but the value is in the offering, not the speech, and most people forget that – especially those people, who give speeches all the time. The speech becomes about them: their travails or triumphs, as opposed to the call to action: what do you want the people listening to the speech to do – that’s the value.

    I don’t want to see less than ten PowerPoint slides, as any marketing professional will tell you: I don’t want to see one. I want you to make whatever you are talking about compelling: why is this important to me right now – does this demand urgency – and why me: why are you asking me to do it. Tell me how, what you describe in the next forty-minutes is going to change my life.

    Lastly, connect your narrative to inspiration, success and me. First, tell me the need: then tell me how I can contribute to bringing this to fruition: how much time do I have to complete it and after this proposition – tell me that not only will I be empowered as a result of it – but I will have made that thing here and the thing over there much better, safer: more valuable.

    Give me a non-speech speech that connects to me: to all of us listening to this — that because of this measure, there will be uplift not only for me – – but for someone else, who could really use my help.

    If you want to give a great speech: don’t give a speech.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    Calvin.wilson1@verizon.net

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