lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2012

"Speak like Churchill, stand like Lincoln" (key ideas)

Today's post is about a fantastic book I read, "Speak like Churchill, Stand like Lincoln", by James Humes, Proffesor of Language and Leadership at the University of Southern Colorado. It was a recommendation of a friend of mine, and I just can say that it was highly rewarding. Probably, this book contains most of the secrets to deal with successfully impact presentations. Although, it hasn't been my first contact with this issue, it was very useful for me in orther to illustrate and reinforce some of the methods I learned in the past. In fact, I highly recommend this book to those who wants to take the fist step to impact and capture audience attention. Specially, history lovers will enjoy with the transcription and comments of many speeches made by the best speakers of all time.

The author proposes several public speaking keys: "21 powerful secrets of history's greatest speakers". For my part, I will try to summarize my favourite chapters by transcribing the most representative part of each one. My purpose is to encourage people who are interested in this issue to read this usefull and entertaining book. For sure, I believe that my colleagues and friends specialized in leadership and team management (LIDERA-ELDE'12) will enjoy and take advantage of this reading. So here it goes:

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Chapter 1. Power Pause: "Before you speak, try to lock your eyes on each of your soon-to-be listeners. Force yourself before you begin your presentation to say in your own mind each word of your opening sentence".

Chapter 2. Power Opener: "If you want to sound like a leader, start strongly. Mediocre speakers meander in their opening phrases of pleasantry. The difference between so-so and superb speakers is often this: One begins banally, the other with a bang".

Chapter 4. Power Point: "So before you speak, ask yourself this question: What is my purpose in this power breakfast with my potential investor? (...) Make figuring out your first priority. Then meditate, formulate, and dictate to yourself that power point".

Chapter 5. Power Brief: "Too many people think that if they are allotted twenty minutes on the program, they are compelled to use every bite of their time. If they expect fifteen, and you give them five, you are displaying singular leadership"

Chapter 6. Power Quote: "Before your next talk, look over your file and pick the most apt quotation for your talk or presentation, one that will support your data and reinforce your facts. Take the quotation you are going to use, print it on a three-by-five card, reduce it to a calling-card size, and laminate it. Then, in the middle of your talk, pull it out from your wallet. (...) Perform it to make it a true power quote".

Chapter 8. Power Outage: "Winston Churchill never used visuals. Franklin Roosevelt never put up flowcharts. Ronald Reagan never employed overheads. Leaders know they can't turn their voice over to visuals (...). You can't delegate leadership to slides".

Chapter 9. Power Wit: "Make your anecdotes realistic and relevant, and be sure you tell it in your own words rather than memorize or read it! Glance quickly at your notes to jog your memory if necessary. Rememver that the secret of humor, as Reagan once said, is to be entertaining while enlightening, and vice versa".

Chapter 11. Power Gesture: "Clinton's most famous gesture was wielded to enforce his most noted and quoted statement. At that press conference in January 1998, he pointed his index finger as he said, «I have never had sex with that woman». The wagging finger enforced the credibility of a statement that was a lie. It only proves how powerfull one body signal can be".

Chapter 12. Power Reading: "Have you ever stepped on a wire and stopped the current? Well, when you are looking down and speaking, you are disconnecting the current of your words to your listeners. You must be looking at your listeners when you are talking to them".

Chapter 15. Power Question: "A question force the listener to react, whereas a declarative sentence does not. A question can compel a listener to answer, even if in his or her own mind (...). Rethorical question -those to which no answer is expected- are posed as a speech device to motivate listeners to get involved".

Chapter 16. Power Word: "In any talk or presentation, you may want to stress or emphasize one word. You don't do that by shouting it out. You do it mos effectively by adding a little pause before uttering it (...). Pregnant pauses can turn even familiar words or phrases into compelling communication".

Chapter 18. Power Dollar: "Keep reminding yourself that you are not a teenager asking your dad to buy you a car or begging for more alowance or a prom dress. You are going in as an equal, seller to buyer. You are offering the opportunity of a big bonanza. In a sence, your're selling the potential investor a ticket to treasure".

Chapter 19. Power Button: "The Power Button says to the audience "really-set-listen" to set them up for the Power Line that follows (...). Limit yourself to one Power Button in each talk, and then use it only to spotlight a zinger line that you want to leave a burning hole in your listeners' ears".

Chapter 20. Power Closer: "No matter if your speech is a bit banal and blah, you can still close in a blaze of glory. The last impression is the one most indelibly etched in memory. A dull speech that ends in a dazzle gets more applause than a forceful speech that ends on a flat note".

Chapter 21. Power Audacity: "Leaders don't play it safe. Leaders don't always follow the script. The do the unexpected. The pull surprises. They catch their audience unawares. They make moves that live in the memory of their listeners".

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