Having something interesting to say isn’t enough to get people to take notice of you. You need to frame your speech well to capture somebody’s attention.
You may consider yourself a good storyteller. When you talk, people seem to listen. They’re willing to give you the time of day and see the speech through to the end.
But that’s only enough to make you a good storyteller. The GREAT storytellers don’t just get people to listen. Their stories inspire the listener to take action and actually do something based on the speech.
Moving from “good” to “great” is what separates a speaker from an influencer. You want your words to have such power that people have to take notice of them. After that, you want them to use what you’ve said to take some positive action in their lives.
The question now is a simple one. How do you go from being a “good” speaker to a “great” one?
We’ll look at that in a moment. First, let’s look at some stories of people who’ve used their speaking to influence others.
Bernard Kelly’s Push Towards Success
Some may argue that Bernard Kelly didn’t have the most advantageous start to life.
He’s keen to tell people about his rags to riches story. Bernard left school unable to read or write, which put him at an instant disadvantage. He had no idea of what he wanted to do, or was even capable of doing, once he left school.
Yet, Bernard did have something that his contemporaries lacked. From the age of 9, he’d wanted to achieve success in whatever form that it might come. He didn’t know how he would do it, but he had a burning desire to achieve something special.
Still, everybody has to start somewhere. Bernard’s lack of qualifications saw him take on his first job at a local McDonald’s restaurant.
That’s when his path to success became clear to him. Bernard decided that success for him meant owning his own McDonald’s stores. For 18 years, he poured everything that he had into this venture. He became a top performer in every role that he held with the restaurant and he worked hard to amass the million dollars he needed to reach his goal.
Today, he owns two McDonald’s stores. Combined, these stores generate $8 million in revenue annually.
Bernard recognised that people need to hear his story and message. He took a unique path to success and he wants others to know that they can follow their dreams too.
Speakers Institute showed Bernard how to pull over 20 years of business experience into an influential story. Today, his speaking influences those who may need to take a less conventional route to success.
Nelsa Simmonds Finds Her Voice
Five years ago, Nelsa Simmonds found herself in an exceptionally difficult position.
Her marriage had just broken down and she looked to her friends and family for support. It was then that she realised that many of the people closest to her had major issues of their own. Many of her family members found themselves in the throes of drug addiction.
It was a path that would have been all too easy for her to follow.
Instead, Nelsa scrambled to find a different way. She felt determined to put back together the pieces of her shattered life. To do that, she needed to look deep inside herself to find the strength needed to push forward.
It was her belief in the power of creativity and its influence over mental health that opened up her new path. She looked towards the talents and gifts that she already possessed to show her something new.
She just needed to focus her creativity into a singular voice.
With Speakers Institute, she discovered the power that her story holds. With us, she found her voice and learned how she could use it to influence others to take positive steps in their own lives. For the past year, she’s embarked on a journey to become an influencer. Today, her story inspires others to forge their own paths during the darkest of times.
How You Can Use Your Voice to Influence Others
Both Nelsa and Bernard recognised that they have stories that can inspire people. They also realised that they needed help to get their stories out there. After all, you can’t influence people if you can’t get them to pay attention.
So, how do you reach the storytelling stage that Bernard and Nelsa now find themselves on? These four tips will help you to become a more influential speaker.
Tip #1 – Use Your Emotions to Tell Your Story
How many times have you listened to a speaker go through the motions?
They clearly have something valuable to say. But they have such a dry and passionless delivery that they can’t influence you. Anybody who’s ever sat through a boring school lecture can tell you how little influence such speakers have.
Such speakers aren’t helping their audience to feel what they feel.
And that’s the key. Almost anybody can stand up in front of a group and recite a story. That’s not going to inspire anybody. You need to make them feel your story.
It’s not about telling somebody something. Speaking is not a case of you telling other people to listen to what you’re telling them, so get this idea out of your head.
Show them instead. Use your words to stir up the emotions of your listeners. Don’t hide behind bad jokes and false facades. Every story has emotion attached to it. Your job is to tear down your own defences so that you don’t feel uncomfortable sharing your emotions.
Tip #2 – Draw From Your Experiences
There’s one major thing that you can tell from the above stories.
Both speakers have very different experiences to draw from. In Bernard’s case, a drive for success allowed him to overcome obstacles and become an influencer. Nelsa needed to overcome personal tragedies. But she drew on her innate creativity to help her to find her path.
The key is that each of these speakers has a unique value proposition. They’ve lived very different lives and have completely different experiences to draw from. Nobody else in the world shares these specific experiences. As a result, they can use what’s happened in their lives to influence how others lead their own lives.
You can do the same. Sit down and think about your story. Ask yourself how you got to where you are right now and what you can draw from your experiences. Use that information to become a more powerful speaker.
Tip #3 – Let Your Audience Take It In
How you speak is just as important as what you say.
If you take a rapid-fire approach to your speaking, you don’t give your audience the chance to breathe. By the time they’ve started absorbing your point, you’re onto the next part of your speech.
It’s confusing for the audience because they can’t fully process what you’re saying.
Take your time when speaking. When you make an important point, pause for a moment to allow your audience the chance to absorb it. Remember that you’re in control of the stage and that speaking isn’t something to get through as quickly as possible.
This also ties into the emotional aspect of your speech. Remember that you want the audience to feel what you feel, rather than just listen to what you say. They can’t do that if you’re not giving them enough time.
Tip #4 – Be Authentic
Audiences can spot a fake a mile off. If you’re not coming across as genuine, people automatically tune out. They assume that you have nothing of value to say. And you’re not giving them any reason to think otherwise.
Again, this ties into the emotional aspect of storytelling. By showing your vulnerability and emotions, you come across as genuine. This makes people more inclined to listen, and thus makes you more influential.
Speakers Institute client Justine Pogroske points to authenticity as being the key to her speaking.
An entrepreneur from a very young age, Justine has plenty to say about the business world. With us, she discovered just how powerful being yourself is when you’re speaking. You instantly create trust with your audience.
Don’t try to fake it until you make it. Every word that comes out of your mouth must be authentic and true to your own experiences.
Top influencers rely on great stories to get people to stand up and take notice. But it’s not enough to just have a story.
Inject emotion into your words and draw from your life experiences to create an authentic speech. Also, slow down every so often. Give your audience the chance to absorb what you tell them and you’ll have a much better chance of influencing people.
Speakers Institute can help you to become more influential. Why not do the following to find out what we have to offer: