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Where do you come from?
Is there anything is significant about the town where you were born?
Do you have any childhood memories that shaped the way you see the world?
What were you like as a kid?
What is the fondest memory you have as a kid?
Where were you before you joined Toastmasters? What brought you to toastmasters?
Your career, your business, your family, your goals and your education?
What's your favourite hobby
What keeps you up at night
What's the best thing that happened you?
What's the worst thing that happened?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What do you want to get out of public speaking?
How should we remember you?
What are the top things on your bucket list?
What motivates you?
How would you summarise your whole life in one sentence?
Of course the timeline view doesn’t have to span your whole life. You may also choose to tell a story containing past, present & future for a smaller timeline such as 'Your favourite Project', or 'Your favourite story'.
Let me know if you managed to generate some ideas using this list? Comment below and let me know.
The first amazing pocket speech for CEOs is an origin story. This is basically a story about how you got to where you are today. What are the series of events or experiences that propelled you to the level that you are today in your business? What are the key factors that really took your business from point A to point B? An origin story gives people an insight into why you have so much passion for your business. Without that insight, people will just get to see you as a regular seller of a product or service that they do not really care about until they discover the reason behind why you do it. Once they know the story or passion behind why you do what you do, you will automatically become the right person to do it for them.
An origin story should not be too long so that you do not bore your listener. A maximum of 10 minutes should be enough to capture your origin story.
A product story is an amazing story about a product, service, or project that was so spectacular that it changed the course of your business. It is simply a catchy story about the project and how it directly affected your business. This tells the other person where your focus and passion is directed. It will tell them what motivated you to create the product and the sacrifices and effort you put in to create the product such that whenever they think of the product, your product becomes the right one for them.
This story is a pocket speech that is built around the success of your customers. It could be a success story about a client that really benefited from your product or service and that stands out for you. This story is used because the person in front of you might be having a similar problem and instead of directly throwing your service in their face, you tell them a story that doesn’t involve your or them but a third person who was at a certain point but got to a whole new point by applying your product or solution. You do not have to do any selling whatsoever. The person will simply understand how the story fits their problem and how applying your product or solution could be what they need to solve their problem. You, therefore, show your listener the path without directly telling them that you can help them.
These are 3 amazing pocket speeches for CEOs and you should ensure that you really memorize these and take care not to exceed ten minutes when telling them.
Check out How to Easily Remember Names for my last blog.
Leave a comment below if you already have one and what steps did you take to create yours?
First, create a story or association with their name – what’s something about them that’s memorable? What’s a feature that you can remember about them, and connect with them about? This could be the way they wear their hair, or the way they walk, or even their eyes.
Then, think of an action that you can associate with them. What do they do that reminds you of something? Their hobbies, their career, their passions? Think of that as the action that you’ll remember when you see them, or hear their name.
Lastly, think of an object that you can associate with them that has to do with something about them. For example, you might picture them holding a mic if they’re a singer, or a paintbrush if they’re an artist. This object will remind you of their name once you hear it. You can picture it in your mind, and when you hear their name again, you’ll remember what that object was, and then remember their name.
With these three factors in mind, create a story using those connections that you’ve developed with them. And remember, these are all internal – don’t let the person know that you’re thinking of these things while you’re speaking to them and introducing themselves. Keep it in your mind.
So, what would you do if you meet someone from a different culture, who speaks a different language? How would you remember their name? It can be embarrassing and frustrating to meet someone with a difficult name to pronounce and then forget it, making them have to tell you and sound it out all over again. Avoid that embarrassment by just calmly working through the steps we’ve outlined above.
Here’s an example of someone who’s name I’ve made up, but isn’t too familiar sounding to me: Shonda Curl. The first thing I’d do is take it one word at a time – first name, then last name. Shonda reminds me of Honda, the car company. Curl reminds me of girl. So, I’ll remember her name by going through my steps, feature, action and object, and then remember her full name – Shonda Curl. The next time I see her, I’ll remember her name by remembering those things I’ve associated with her in order to help me remember.
It seems silly and time consuming, but you can do these things in a split second. Within a minute of meeting someone, you can have this entire story built out in your mind to remember their name. It won’t take you nearly as long as it took you to read this article – it can happen in a split second, if you just remember to take these steps when you’re introducing yourself to someone new.
In case you missed the last blog about How to Memorise Your Speech in 5 Minutes. Check it out & make sure to comment below if you liked this blog.
Start with imagining your front door. If you can differentiate your front door in your memories to all of the other doors around it, that’s the only differentiation you need. No matter where you are, you know your home – it’s your home base. You know it inside out.
How does that relate to giving a speech? We’re going to bookmark five places in the house – for example, your front door, a mirror, a doorway to the living room, a TV, or a picture frame. These five things are the first, most memorable things you see when you walk into your home, and they should become your most memorable sections of your speech as well.
Once you’ve summarized your speech, pick out five spots in the speech to bookmark. I’ve chosen five parts in my speech to associate with those five bookmarks in my home that I know very well, which I see in order as I move throughout my house. I know the order they come in, because I know which order I see them as I enter my home.
So, first, I’ll start with the opener of my speech, which is a joke about drinking beer. The first thing I see when I walk up to my house is the front door – so, the first thing I remember? My opener about beer.
Then so on, and so on – I remember my second point of my speech is related to milk. The second thing I see when I walk into my home is a big, full-body mirror. I remember that segment about milk in my speech is the second part of my speech, associated with the second thing I see when I walk into my home.
Easy enough, right?
Then keep going through the third, fourth and fifth parts of your speech. Remember, they’re associated with those other parts of your home that you see once you walk in. Using this method, you can quickly identify five memorable parts of your home, then populate those areas with objects from your speech to make it memorable.
What if you have a small list? Maybe just pick five spots in one room instead of a house. Pick out the fridge, the counter, the table, the microwave – choose just small things in one room that you remember the order of distinctly, and which you can associate to the different segments of your speech.
What if you have a longer speech? Open up your entire house in your memory and associate tons of spots in your home with the important spots in your speech. You know where things area as you walk through your home – so, walk through your speech the same way.
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3 Ways to Believe In Your Message
1. Focus on impact
Is your audience better off after having been served by you? Or worse off? If they are better off then you have a solution which is impacting their life. Regardless of how small or big the impact, at least you’re making an impact and unless you got your word out there, nobody would know that you or your service exists.
If you serve just one person or a thousand, those people have already bought into your vision and only you can impact them in the way that you do. Instead of focusing on the technical aspect of your work, focus on the impact that you’re having as a result of you sharing your work.
Your solution can serve as many people as you’d like it to, but unless you believe in it, you’ll be too hesitant to share it with others and if I don’t know what you do, how could I use your service?
2. Test Your Assumptions
Are you holding onto stories that no longer serve you? Things that happened in the past but no longer serve your needs?
Might be time to test your assumptions to see if they still have any legs. When the topic of memory comes up the first thing I hear is ‘I have a crap memory’ or ‘a rubbish memory’ but within the next 5 minutes when asked about their hobby can recite their favourite footballers annual salary and shoe size proving that their memory is just fine.
Test your assumptions now to see if you’re carrying some of the old baggage that you can choose to let go now.
3. Slice & Dice Your Goals
Having the big picture about where you want to be in 10 years is phenomenal, but does it empower your actions today or holds you back?
To exhibit I have Sam and Joe here:
Sam knows exactly what he wants in 10 years but the goal is so big that he’s been thinking about it for the last 3 years without taking any action, it is too overwhelming and the project just too big for him to do anything about it.
Joe on the other hand has a similar idea about where he wants to be in 10 years but quickly traced it all the way to this moment and divided the big goal into small measurable tasks, so instead of focusing on the 100 podcast episodes he needs to record he focuses on just recording number 1 this week.
Where Sams ideas immobilise any action, Joe’s ideas are built on small steps which he can act on right now. This not only gives him more control over his future, it allows him to measure small steps, make course corrections and test his assumptions along the way.
Each small win then feeds into his overall goal, his confidence and helps him gain momentum.
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If you enjoyed this video, check out 15 Ways to Build Instant Confidence
1. Memorise the Outline
Writing things down helps us commit words onto page and helps us move our thoughts into visual concepts. However, it is more than likely that your speech is not going to be televised to the rest of the world and will not be used to end World War (dramatic I know), therefore you can be forgiven for being conversational in your approach and in doing so come across as present and fresh. Let's take a look at how to do just that.
If you’re talking for under 20 minutes you can get away with summarizing your speech on a card using just 5 phrases: Open, Body point 1, Body Point 2, Body Point 3 and Conclusion. If you don’t trust your memory at all, you may choose to add 3 more phrases to each point above so you have 15 phrases (5x3) in total to help you trigger the content in the right sequence. Nobody knows the details either so if you juggle up the order, it’s your show, pick up another phrase and continue on with it. That’s the beauty of outline. Our brain is very good at filling in the details so by leaving out filler words and non-important details you’re asking your audience to participate and use their own imagination, much like we do when we’re told an exotic story by our friends.
One of the common excuse I hear is that ‘I’m bad with memory’. Sure! Then why try to memorise 500+ words/ phrases when you can boil it down to 15 phrases. Go easy on yourself.
2. Gather Intel (2 minutes or less)
This doesn’t need to be CIA style detailed report, no! just the basic things that you notice about the environment you’re in. Level of expertise in the room, the weather outside, any big events that happened just before you started talking, the distance between the first person in the row and the last person.
As you begin to deliver your speech, you now have reference points all gathered from present moment that you can bounce back to your audience. This keeps your audience alert as they know you’re paying attention and in turn this makes them pay attention to what it is you’re saying. You could say things like:
Pick one or two and pepper your speech at any point to help break the ice, bring everyone to the present moment and keep them engaged.
3. Gauge Interaction
As you deliver your speech pay attention to how well the information is received on the other end? Does your audience look engaged to you? Their eyes wide open and jaws to the floor or are they playing with their stationary and not really focused on what is being said. There body is your WiFi signal for success/ failure. Although it is not always possible to get everyone in the room to listen it is a good indicator of how well the information is received.
You may have heard/ seen these being used in seminars before, mainly because seminars tend to be long (upto 9 hours of listening to the same speaker on the same topic).
If you find your audience is disengaged, use one of the following methods to get them back into your narrative:
All these devices are used to break down the information and let the audience interact back with you making them more receptive of the information you have to deliver. It gives them a chance to soak in the information and break down the monotony and stream of information thrown at them over time.
To summarise Scripted speeches are usually the kind of speeches that appear over-rehearsed, robotic and monotonous. By memorising the outline, gathering intel and gauging interaction you can break down the stream of information at regular intervals and help connect your audience to your message.
Which one have you used already? Would you dare combining all of them in your next speech?
Comment below to let me know.
It's that little nudge sometimes that can get us to follow through on what we're supposed to be doing. Let these quotes from successful entrepreneurs give you the motivation you need next time you're putting together a speech, a meeting or a workshop. Let me know your favourite one by commenting below?