Reuse what has already worked for you. In the last section we mentioned a recycled speech; however, here I am broadening the scope to include experiences, stories, jokes, and anecdotes that have gotten some type of rise or reaction from people. Whether they were co-workers, family, or friends, if you touched one person with a comment or story, there is a good likelihood that you can touch many others. Try it out, and see if it works. Too many presenters try to invent something brand new for their audiences and come up against across writer’s block.
We can reuse only so much of our lives. Since the best connection to an audience is sharing something personal, go back and revisit the folder and file in which you keep your stash of treasures. The key is to use a story in a way that will connect with the audience and still serve your purpose to entertain, inspire, or motivate. You can use the same story to be funny or to be serious, depending on the environment, the audience, and the message you want to send. I have a speech about my shy oldest daughter who stepped out on stage at a school concert to sing solo. There are so many places I use the story. I have used a funny line about how I needed to talk to her about the little white lies she was told us prior to the event to keep the surprise, I have noted how much courage she had that I had never seen before, and I have used it for motivational purposes as an example of stepping out of one’s comfort zone. I can keep going, but my point is that there are many messages to the same story. If it works, find a use for it.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention) are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com. Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com
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