Did you know that 62 percent of adults celebrate Valentine’s Day? There are plenty of suggestions for entrepreneurs who want to have a fancy, romantic night out. There are even options available for people looking to send their exes glitter or dead roses. You could even try to be your own Valentine.
Public speakers can use Valentine’s Day to brush up on the language of love. There’s a reason a word from a loved one means more than from a stranger. Tap into that tacit connection all humans have.
Use all of the love in the air as motivation to speak from the heart. A genuine love story tugs on everyone’s heartstrings and leads them on an unforgettable journey–make your speech a love story and take your audience for the ride.
1. Fall in Love With Your Message
Why should your audience care about your topic? Start by explaining why your audience should fall in love with what you’re saying.
Identify where your audience stands before the talk, and then set a goal for where you’d like them to be after your talk. Speaking expert Nancy Duarte calls these the “move from” and “move to” points.
You have one opportunity to take the audience by the hand and lead them on a trip from what they thought at the beginning of your talk to what they will think at the end. Make sure they know why they should fall head-over-heels for what you have to say.
2. Get Swept Off Your Feet by Your Story
But it isn’t enough to have a roadmap if you don’t have a car. This is when you put your plan into practice–gather together your dry facts and figures to form a story. What is your data trying to tell you?
“Maybe,” Brené Brown says in her TED Talk on vulnerability, “stories are just data with a soul.”
Your story is the vehicle that gets your raw data–and your audience–from the “move from” to the “move to” point. Constructing a story involves creating a beginning, middle and end with a great cast of characters.
Need a story? Find a meaningful tale to share by finding common ground. How does your work connect to the world at large? How has your message already begun to change the world?
Spend time on your story and make it from the heart–your audience will respond to authenticity.
Now you have a plan and a vehicle–what’s the missing ingredient? Fuel. Ignite your audience with the passion you feel for your topic. Find what’s in your presentation that excites you and transfer that excitement.
Now, sometimes you’re just giving a presentation on something mundane or protocol for your industry. It may seem difficult to find anything that gets your motor going. But this is where proficient speakers separate from the throng.
Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk discusses the power of passion and perseverance. The truly gifted public speakers will view themselves as a vessel for their message. Their passion comes from the knowledge that their message is valuable and necessary.
This Valentine’s Day, turn your presentation into a love story between your audience and your message. When you speak from the heart, sincere passion and love will come through–and it is contagious.
Spread the love and speak on.