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The Path To Powerful Speaking

This insightful video, rooted in personal and team development, explores the essence of powerful speaking. Emphasizing the importance of focusing not only on the words but also on the underlying feelings and experiences, the author delves into the two levels of “gets” in a presentation. Above the waterline, it’s about the content and information, while below, it’s about the person, their authenticity, and the emotional connection with the audience. The video underscores the crucial role of authenticity, urging individuals to be themselves for impactful communication. With practical advice and a holistic approach, the piece is a valuable guide for aspiring powerful speakers.


The path to powerful speaking. Part one is to go for the gets, go for the gets. Stephen Covey had a great saying. He said, when you’re going to do something, start with the end in mind. If you’re giving a presentation, what is it you want people to get from what you’re saying when they walk out the door? What are you hoping that they’re taking out the door? I call those the gets. And something I think is important to understand is that in a presentation, there are two levels or kinds of gets that you need to think about and focus on and plan for. If you’re going to be a powerful speaker or presenter. It’s not just about what you say. Most people, when they’re presenting, focus on the words. And, in fact, a lot of the people that are coaching speakers will work on the text a lot, focus on the words, the sentence structure, and so on and so forth. In my experience, that’s less important. There are certain phrases or words, key words that I want people to have ringing in their ears when they walk out the door. And I’ll, I’ll hammer certain phrases, but the actual structure of the sentences and so forth for me is less important. And ultimately it’s because, as the research says, it’s not about what you say. In fact, the words are only about 10% of what people take away. Isn’t that amazing? 10% of what they remember, what they carry out the door is from the words, even a great speaker that’s true.

About 50% is in your non-verbals in your your tone of voice, how natural you are, the the, the nature of your relationship with the audience and so forth, which also flows into the context, which is about 40%. What’s the situation? Are you on a stage? Are you sitting at a table? How are you dressed? What’s your role with these people? What is your what’s your what’s their position? Relative to you? Are you a boss or are you you know, all these kind of things affect the context. So about 90% is other than the words. Now, a great speech like Martin Luther King’s speech or Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and some other important speeches, even if you just read the words, they’re powerful. But when you when you hear the person speak them, then the power jumps. So while the words are really important, this other stuff I think will make you a really, really powerful speaker. There are two levels of gets. You start at the beginning of your talk, you finish, and there’s a water line that exists. All of you that know me know about the water line. Above the water line, there is the content. That’s where the words live, the information, the message. It’s the thinking get. It’s what you want people to be thinking, the concepts. Or when you when they walk out the door below the water line, there’s you as a person above the water line. They’re kind of relating to you as whatever role you are, an expert or the boss or someone from another, whatever, whatever below the water line.

They’re relating to you as a person. So below the water line, there’s there’s the process, the experience, the relationship they have with you, the level of respect and trust they have with you. These are the feeling. The feeling gets that they take out the door. So above the water line, what is it you want them to be thinking, understanding or knowing when they walk out the door below the water line? What do you want them to be feeling? What do you want them to experience while they’re with you? What do you want them to be believing when they walk out the door? Especially if you’re a leader, you want them to have the facts, but boy, that’s a very small percentage of what you when they walk out the door, you want them believing in the facts, believing in the mission of the company, believing in the possibility that it is that you’re trying to lay out for these people. So this is crucial that you understand what the gets are in each of those levels. The most important thing below the water line is authenticity. It comes from the Greek word auto plus henties. Oto, of course, means self like automatic automobile. These are is a car that you operate yourself. Automatic is something that happens by itself. So the word auto means self, and the word henties from the Greek is the doer. It’s doing being, it’s accomplishing, it’s achieving. So to be authentic is that what you’re doing and what you’re being is coming from who you really are.

So that there’s a there’s a realness about you when you’re up there on the platform or speaking about whatever it is that you’re speaking about. I like to think of it this way. I saw a t-shirt in Disneyland years ago. It said, might as well be yourself on the front and on the back. It said everyone else is taken. So when you’re standing up there in front of the room or sitting around a table or talking with some people. In order to be powerful, you need to be different in a sense. Why should they listen to you? They listen to themselves. Why should they listen to you? So don’t try to be anybody else because they’re already taken. Just be yourself. That’s where your powers come from. And if you haven’t seen the Wizard Work video, The Seven Sources of Power, you might want to look that one up because you have at least seven things going for you when you’re standing up there speaking, which are the ones that you want to concentrate on? These are the big four things to remember when you’re preparing for a talk. Know what the gets are above and below the waterline. What do you want them to be thinking? What do you want them to be feeling when they walk out the door? I like to let people talk to each other before I ask them questions. A lot of times, especially this happened in the military, somebody would present all the details and say, are there any questions? Well, nobody ever had any questions.

I’ve been in the corporate world quite a bit. And when somebody will give a talk and then say, are there any questions? And quite often the only questions that come are questions that people had when they walked in the door, which means they didn’t really listen. They weren’t really impacted by what was said. They were waiting for the talk to be over, so they could throw their question out there and really get that person. So I like to have people talk to each other, say, I’m going to pause now before we wrap this up, and I’d like for you to just talk with one another 2 or 3 people together. What did you think? Any thoughts you’ve had? What questions do you have? What concerns? What did you like? What what what do you disagree with? And then I’ll ring a bell, and we’ll check with you in just a minute. I’ve done this with an audience with 2000 people sometimes. Then I ring a bell ding ding ding ding. And I say, okay, now I’d love to hear from what were you talking about? Rather than, do you have any questions? Tell me what you were talking about, boy. You’re much more likely to get a rich conversation going at the end of your talk about that. Then. Do you have any questions? And then be yourself. Everyone else is taken. Authenticity is absolutely the key. And then finally practice the seven carkhuff skills which are going to be in part two.


This insightful video delves into essential survival skills for navigating today’s workplace challenges. Covering skills seven to ten, it emphasizes the importance of developing courage to face challenges (symbolized by “tigers”), mastering cross-functional teamwork, adapting to rapid change, and finding purpose beyond routine tasks. The author encourages readers to view their work as contributing to a larger purpose, urging them to quit a mundane job and discover work that aligns with personal passions and makes a meaningful impact. With a focus on personal development, organizational growth, and effective teamwork, the video provides practical advice for thriving in the dynamic modern workplace.

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