Teachers aren’t the only professionals who face the challenge of making the important sound interesting. Business coaches, corporate trainers, paid speakers and project managers are often tasked with inspiring others into action. International sales expert and keynote speaker Patricia Fripp shares her short go-to list of business hacks for accomplishing this common challenge.
9 Ways to Make the Important Sound Interesting
by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
All leaders, sales professionals, content experts, and ambitious professionals need to be good communicators. These nine suggestions will be helpful when you deliver important presentations and want them to sound interesting.
- People believe stories more readily than numbers or statistics. The hearer processes stories in three ways: intellectually, emotionally, and visually (visual aids and the speaker’s movements). Start with a story, and then use a statistic or visual to emphasize or elaborate the point.
- Remember the Who factor; audiences are people and they are interested in other people. Use stories about people, particularly heroes. Look internally and externally in the company for the stories of your own everyday heroes.
- Sound words build tension. Crack! (Was that lightning?) Build tension in the leadership message, and then break it or relieve it as a means of holding audience attention. We all love suspense.
- Smell and other sensory words also trigger the formation of memory. See, hear, smell, feel, taste what?
- Twist a phrase, “You can’t teach a young dog old tricks.” – Warren Buffet, billionaire, on why he consistently hires retirement-age managers rather than younger ones.
- Use alliteration, repetition and rhythm to add interest to your speaking.
- Statistics should be used sparingly and distilled. Startling numbers are effective.
- Quotes allow us to borrow the best that has been said or written. They can convey authority, brevity, relevance, humor, etc. Quotes get the human voice in your leadership message. Use contemporary quotes if possible. Be accurate. Use tone of voice to convey the quote, rather than saying “quote-unquote.” Edit quotes down to the meat. Paraphrase quotes that are longer than one or two lines.
- When discussing a big issue “Tell the story of the war through the eyes of one soldier.”
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE has been teaching executives and engineers to speak more effectively since 1990. She is a Hall of Fame award-winning speaker, sales presentation skills trainer, and in-demand executive speech coach. Meetings and Conventions magazine named her “One of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote, “Patricia Fripp’s speaking skills training is one of the best ways to invest in you.” Through FrippVT her highly interactive virtual training platform she offers a shortcut to sales success for highly technical sales teams. Patricia is trusted by clients such as Microsoft, ADP, Visa, Genentech, Wounded Warrior Project, and the American Payroll Association. Contact Patricia Fripp: [email protected]