Showing posts from September, 2018

How to start a powerful message

We often invest a huge amount of time and effort in planning our message. We want it to be clear and strong and motivating and bullet proof. We argue and support, find more evidence, and rehearse. We work hard to make the message as strong as it could possibly be.

And when we fail to be heard as we want to be heard, we blame ourselves for delivering it the wrong way. This makes it harder the next time we have to walk into a conversation or a presentation and deliver a strong, clear message.

What if our delivery was fine and the problem was that the audience was not ready to hear us? The most powerful messages all begin with the same thing: the speaker finds a way to say to the audience, "I see you."

The one thing that you can be sure every audience wants is a mirror. Before they care about how you see your subject matter, they want to know how you see them. When you reflect what you see in your audience, you do two things: 1) help them see themselves better and 2) help them …

The power problem

There's a power problem in self development circles. The problem is this: powerful experiences (experiences that make a strong impact on you) are not always experiences that give you power (the ability to do something or to influence others to do something). In the heat of an experience, it is too easy to believe that feeling power is the same as having power. It's not.

What does give you power? It begins with purpose. People who know what they are trying to accomplish have more power than people who don't know what they want. That seems obvious. What is less obvious is that people may know what they want in a given situation without necessarily knowing what they want in other situations. Purpose is less a thing and more a process of continually evaluating your situation against your values and deciding on how your big-picture goals guide your behaviour over and over again.
Next, power requires skill: people who have developed a skill have more power (they can do more unde…