Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bowlers' Guide to Public Speaking

Last night, I went bowling with some friends.

During the third frame, I threw the bowl straight down the middle - like an arrow pointed towards the center of the dart board.

To my dismay, I only knocked down seven pins. To make matters worse, the three pins left were on opposite sides of the alley. What's a bowler to do?

Turns out, the middle pin or head pin is not the one you want to hit if you hope to knock 'em all down.

A few frames later, I hit the pocket, that space right between the head pin and either pin next to it. Strike!

Often when we get up to speak, we try to hit that middle pin. We make our point so clearly and so directly, that we leave no space for the audience to absorb it. When you deliver the "straight down the middle" speech, many people may your understand message, but you will never truly wow the audience - you will never bowl a strike.

A really great speaker has the ability to deliver a message with force and precision - while deliberately leaving space for the audience to have that moment of self-discovery and transformation.

From the Green Room: When you get up to speak, aim for the pocket. Aim not just to get your point across, but to communicate in such a way to enables your listeners to discover your message for themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Intriguing advice. Hope you'll elaborate in a future blog!