Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One Speech Coach answers: WHAT MAKES A GREAT SPEECH Installment 4 of 15

4.    Answer the question "What’s In It For Me?" - every time. Think, “service leadership.” Don’t assume they're as interested in your topic, or your take on their topic, as you are. That is as dangerous as assuming they're as much in love with the sound of your voice as you are! They’ll care how much you know when they know how much you care. Find, then meet, their needs – every time!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 170

'We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, April 28, 2014

One Speech Coach answers: WHAT MAKES A GREAT SPEECH Installment 3 of 15

3.    Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Internalize your material so thoroughly that now you can focus not on you [“Oh my God: What do they think of me?”] but on your audience and meeting their needs - which is where your focus belongs. And insofar as you’ve given a ton of time to crafting your message down to the gnat’s eyebrow, to rehearsing every gesture, every pause, every raised eyebrow, you’ll have your audience in your pocket. They may not realize the dynamic, but they’ll hang on your every word if you’ve invested hours for every five minutes of your presentation because they’re on the receiving end of a presentation that is truly mature, not one that comes across vaguely as half-baked. They’ll automatically give you their rapt attention – you in turn will feed off that attention. Thus, you will have engendered a match made in heaven!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 169

Lincoln had a voracious curiosity. Since he had virtually no formal schooling he learned early in life that satisfying his curiosity was going to be his job and his job alone. Consequently, as a child he taught himself to read and write; he also taught himself Euclidean geometry, then surveying, then the law. He was a lifelong student of literature having memorized long passages from both Shakespeare and the Bible. As if all that were not enough, in 1849 he applied for a patent on his design for ‘a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant chambers with steam boats’ [these chambers were designed to lift steam boats above sand bars]. He is the only president in American history to have been granted a patent. Then as President he taught himself how to be a Commander in Chief.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One Speech Coach answers: WHAT MAKES A GREAT SPEECH Installment 2 of 15

2     It goes without saying, but have a title. Whether you’re out to inform us, or entertain us, or inspire us, or amuse us start out focused and stay focused throughout right down to the last semi-colon – there’s a world of difference between moving around and getting ahead. Your title is a foundational phrase of less than 10 words that governs everything you will say. "My dream is not for sale," for example. And as a necessary adjunct, limit your topic. "I've discovered the cure for cancer!" isn't nearly as riveting as the speaker might think.  Keep it much tighter. Remember, the cockpits of super-fast, super-efficient airplanes make very good use of the limited space available. Broad topics are ALWAYS easy to state - and ALWAYS make for clunky, unimaginative presentations.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 168

'We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 24, 2014

One Speech coach's answer: WHAT MAKES A GREAT SPEECH Installment 1 of 15

1.    Don't waste time with, "Hello, I'm really honored to be here." Nobody cares, right? You might as well not waste everyone’s time unless you have a compelling answer to the following: “So what? Who cares? What’s in it for me?” Your first and last 30 seconds must be memorable. Start with a bang. Give a startling quote or story. Don't meander when you hit the ground - run!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 167

'Southern men declare that their slaves are better off than hired laborers amongst us. How little they know whereof they speak! There is no permanent class of hired laborers amongst us ... Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Makes a Great Speech

You've got something to say that we need to hear. And if you know the subtleties of how humans are wired YOU MAKE THE CONNECTION and we have a match made in heaven - just the right sparks fly in just the right directions/proportions, and magic HAPPENS.
Well, sometimes. After all, there's a world of difference between Doctor King's "I Have a Dream" speech and some guy balancing out a lack of quality with an abundance of quantity.
So, what makes for a really great speech? Here are 15 suggestions in the following 15 installments. Stay tuned…

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 166

Lincoln could be, and often was, the very picture of contradiction[s]. ‘He dressed like a farmer but read books on geometry and poetry.  He told witty stories and yet could successfully prosecute a dry or boringly technical case… Jonathan Birch, a fellow lawyer, witnessed Lincoln holding forth in the court clerk’s office, surrounded by other lawyers and telling some story. “His eyes would sparkle with fun,” Birch remembered, “and when he had reached the point in his narrative which invariably evoked the laughter of the crowd, nobody’s enjoyment was greater than his.” An hour later, however, Birch would see Lincoln seated on a chair with the back leaned against the wall, “his hat tipped slightly forward as if to shield his face, his eyes no longer sparkling with fun or merriment, but sad and downcast and his hands clasped around his knees.” Birch thought him “the very picture of dejection and gloom. Thus absorbed have I seen him sit for hours at a time defying the interruption of even his closest friends… It was a strange picture.”’
- Brian Dirck

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 165

'… that is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles - right and wrong - throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 164

'Welcome or unwelcome, agreeable or disagreeable, whether this shall be an entire slave nation is the issue before us.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 163

'Well, for those who like that sort of thing I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 162

'What I did [the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation] I did after very full deliberation, and under a heavy and solemn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God that I have made no mistake.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 161

What Lincoln called Public Opinion baths took place from 10 - 2 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 - 12 on Tuesday and Thursday. For the public it was a fairly simple arrangement: first come, first served. Usually Lincoln would greet each individual with “what can I do for you?” Then he would listen and would promise to do what he could if the request were reasonable. If he was in a hurry to get rid of someone, he would crack a joke and with both of them laughing would ease the caller out the door. Among other things, since these meetings happened so regularly Lincoln had a consistently firm grasp on the concerns of ordinary people. In addition, the meetings served as a tonic in a city like Washington where overweening ambition and hypocrisy had – and, according to some people, still has - a way of warping facts beyond recognition.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 159

When Grant was appointed head of all 860,000 Union troops in 1864, he devised a plan to attack all Confederate forces simultaneously: the Army of the Potomac would attack Lee without let-up; Sherman would slash through Georgia to the sea; Banks would attack through Mobile joining with Sherman in the Deep South. Lincoln had finally found his man, someone to execute strategy he knew could not fail. Happily he observed, ‘those not skinning can hold a leg.’

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 158

'When I do good I feel good. When I do bad I feel bad. That is my religion.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 157

When Lincoln ran for congress in 1846 his Democratic opponent was a fire-and-brimstone preacher named Peter Cartwright. The story goes that during the course of the campaign Lincoln went to one of Cartwright's services. At one point during the service Preacher Cartwright asked that all who desired to give their lives to God and go to heaven should stand. Of course everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. He then asked those who did not wish to go to hell to stand. At this point everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. Cartwright of course was sensitive to the fact that Lincoln was in the congregation. He then pointedly asked Lincoln if he didn't stand in answer to either question where exactly did he intend to go? Lincoln replied: ‘I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know that I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness. I am going to Congress.’

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 156

‘Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary if you falter and give up you will lose the power of keeping any resolution and will regret it all your life.'
- Abraham Lincoln