While the boardroom might feel like a world away from a rousing tent revival, there are definitely techniques that young professionals can learn from motivational speakers, both secular and spiritual. Getting a foothold for your ideas is a surefire way to stand out, but how do you get your superiors to truly listen?
Listen, Then Speak
When presenting your ideas to a group of peers or higher-ups, have a good sense of the room. Speak and offer new ideas at an appropriate time, otherwise you risk coming across as insensitive or plain oblivious. According to a recent article in Forbes, good listeners show that they’re paying attention by making eye contact, facing the speaker and asking clarifying questions once the speaker has fully articulated their ideas. Show that you can listen attentively, and others will be more likely to listen to you.
Know Your Audience
Successful motivational speakers address the concerns of their audience in such a way that every person in the audience feels they’re being addressed directly. How do they do this? By clearly understanding the concerns and needs of the group they’re addressing. Make sure the ideas you propose are aligned with the needs of your colleagues and workplace and you’ll find a lot more nodding heads in the room.
Connect to Communicate
When a truly great speaker takes the floor, you feel yourself drawn in to the power of their words. This is no accident; motivational speakers work hard to connect with their listeners in a variety of ways. Follow the example of other great leaders, such as Josh Shipp or Pastor Ed Young. A motivational sensei, Inc.com reports that Shipp uses his youthfulness and sense of humor to relate to his audiences. Young, founder of Ed Young Fellowship Church, uses a creative communication style that makes complex ideas simple and applicable to his followers at live events and online.
Internalize Your Ideas and Your Audience Will, Too
When you have a clear internalization of your message, help your listeners understand it more deeply as well. According to the National Speakers Association, one of the strongest characteristics that powerful leaders share is an ability to help others by encouraging them. Frame your ideas as solutions that your listeners can get behind and make their own. People take ownership of ideas and will get them closer to becoming a reality.
It doesn’t matter how many tricks and tips you read about the success of other speakers. When it comes down to it, YOU are the deciding factor that will make or break the effectiveness of your presentation. Your colleagues will know immediately if you’re taking on a false tone just to get your ideas across. Instead of trying to become someone totally new, focus on becoming the best, most persuasive version of yourself you can be. Visualize yourself delivering a clear, powerful idea, then work to make that a reality through listening closely, getting to know your audience and seeking to connect to transform their vision of what’s possible in your workplace.