Do you always walk your talk?
Sometimes when you stand up to speak, the speech you deliver falls flat. Figuring out why can be a difficult task.
You've checked off the boxes and found very little to go on.
Have I prepared thoroughly? Yes.
Have I rehearsed? Yes.
Was the audience closed off for some reason? No.
So what happened?
If you've had this experience you'll know how disconcerting it can be. Avish Parashar's article "Walk Your Talk" shares his experience of the lost "zing" and how he got it back.
Avish is a dynamic professional speaker who teaches organizations and individuals communication skills using the art and science of improv. He weaves together humorous stories, witty observations, and interactive exercises from improvisational comedy to get people laughing, learning, and motivated!
You'll find links to his website at the foot of his "Walk your Talk" article.
"In the past couple of weeks, I have been reminded of the importance - and power - of the phrase: walk your talk.
I had two speaking engagements, back-to-back, that I was looking forward to. They would be decent sized audiences with some potential clients in them. I also had a few months notice, and I decided that this would be a good time to "re-work" my main keynote speech. It's always good to re-examine our work, and there's nothing like a deadline to make it happen.
I identified a few things I specifically wanted to work on and went at it. Things were going ok, but something felt "missing." I knew the speech wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, I just wasn't sure why not. This feeling persisted until as late as three days before the first speech!
I decided to take a break and went out to dinner with a friend, and we talked about my problem. Talking it out led me to the conclusion that I wasn't being 100% myself. There are things I do when performing comedy that I wasn't doing in my speech (acting things out, having high-energy, using voices, etc). I had spent months trying to "write" the speech and I was over-intellectualizing what I thought should work.
The next morning I threw away what I had written and talked out my points and stories as if I was on stage, but I committed 100% to telling them *my* way. That was all I needed. This got me past the block I had, and suddenly the speech felt right. The nice thing is I want back and used a great deal of what I had written - I didn't have to start over from scratch - but now I just applied the sense of who I am to it, and things fell into place. I'm happy to say that things went well.
The interesting thing about this story is that in the month leading up to these speeches, I conducted 2 presentation skills workshops and the primary lesson I tried to hammer at people was the importance of being yourself while speaking. I had just spent 12 hours harping on the importance of being yourself, and that was the one thing I wasn't doing! It's amazing how easy it is for us to see problems in other people that we completely overlook in ourselves. I could have smacked myself in the head when I realized that I needed to start walking my talk.
This is something we all do all the time. I'm sure you don't have to think very hard to think about things in your life that you tell other people to do but also happen to lack in your own life. If we all started applying the advice we give to others to our own lives, we would all be much happier, healthier, and more successful.
Also, when we have a problem, our first instinct is often to look outside of ourselves. We read books, go to workshops, and talk to other people. Quite often these are just delaying tactics. The answers are inside of us; we just need to start walking our own talk."
Avish Parashar is an experienced, innovative, energetic, and humorous speaker who uses his 15+ years of experience performing, directing and teaching improv comedy to deliver unique and refreshing presentations to a variety of audiences.
Weaving together humorous stories, jokes, audience interaction, and improv comedy games, Avish keeps the audience engaged while imparting a key lesson: Planning is Important, but Improvising is Essential!
By the end of one of Avish's presentations you will have key tools to flow with all that life throws at you.
Avish's Walk Your Talk message is a variation on an old theme: 'To thine own self be true.'
Learn to trust and celebrate the very best of 'you' in your speeches or writing. That way you'll never lose your 'zing' and you will always walk your talk.
Do you want to know more about how to use humor effectively in your speeches?
Learn how to turn painful sniggers into healthy right-out-loud laughter here.
Or maybe you could use some suggestions for developing vocal variety to get some zip & sizzle energy into your voice? You'll find plenty of fun easy to use ideas here.