Let’s consider WHY you want to be a better speaker. A good mechanic understands why an engine works. A good teacher understands how their students learn. A great coach understands why athletes compete. We seek, by the end of this book, to train you to become your own speaking coach by asking “Why?” over and over, until it activates your intuition and experience into a vicious cycle (but in a good way).
When asked, “Why do you want to be better at public speaking and communication?” people’s answers are varied:
• It’s helpful for my job
• To get my message across
• To be more effective
• To not be afraid!
What do you notice in these answers?
INTELLECTUAL TO EMOTIONAL CHANGE CHART
Are you familiar with the “Intellectual to Emotional Change” chart?
Whenever we want to change something, positively or negatively, in our lives (learning Spanish, quitting smoking, whatever it is) we start with a point called Intellectual Inflection.
Our head says, “I should do that.” What usually happens? It doesn’t work. Typically, that doesn’t motivate us for long and we fall back into the same habits. Sometimes the progress stops here and the change never happens. Or…
…we may reach a point called Emotional Inflection, where our heart says, “I will do that.” Here we become irrationally committed to it, which is key to making it happen. You throw a switch in your brain and decide you are going to make…that…happen.
And that is where change happens.
When looking at reasons people want to be better at public speaking and communication, what are some of the intellectual reasons they give?
• It’s good for my career
• I want to be more efficient
• It’s important for job tasks
Are those enough to trigger a change? No. So what are some of the more emotional reasons? Let’s get to the good stuff! If we clear aside some of the politeness, we hear:
• I want to really impress people.
• I want people to respect me.
• I really want to command a room.
• I want to be remembered.
• I want to not be nervous—or afraid!
These reasons can trigger change once we recognize and admit them.