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Salmaan Sana
A believer in Connection (Offline, Online), Leadership, Storytelling, Inspiration and Creating Movements.
A believer in Connection (Offline, Online), Leadership, Storytelling, Inspiration and Creating Movements.

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Nicely summarised and assembled: 11 Most Actionable Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2015 -

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The Public Speaking 'Golden Rule'

Imagine the following: you’re sitting at a cafe with a good friend and there is an important topic you want to share with this person. For example, a moment that inspired you, or something that really made you think deeply. How would you start such a conversation? How would you build it up? Would you ask questions in between to make the person you are talking to a little curious? Maybe share the journey you took to your own discovery? How would you get your conversational partner to connect with that which you are sharing? Which words would you choose? What would be the most important message you would wish to convey?

And there it is, the golden rule to public speaking, right there!

No matter how small or large the group, imagine you are talking to one person.

Now I understand that this is much easier said than done, since simply acting like you are talking to one person while talking to 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 or more can be kind of tricky. Just think of all the inspirational talks, or even the ones that were very content based, what was it about them that connected with you? Often it has to do with the manner in which you felt like someone is talking directly to ‘you’. This can be in the form of a story, in the form of relevance, or in the form of pure fascination, which doesn’t matter as much as the ‘tone’ in which it comes out. The main point being that you are sharing what you feel and experience.

The words you choose, and I will go so far as to say even your own body language, will adjust to the ‘one person’ mindset which will magically change the way people respond to you speaking. Now this approach can be used in public speaking, presentations, storytelling, moderating, hosting or any other form of ‘standing in front of more than one person’ type of situations.

In the last years I have had the privilege of speaking at events, holding workshops, and lecturing to students, and I realised that one thing that helped me connect especially was allowing myself be vulnerable and showing an authentic side of me. This has to do with being incredibly honest of what I am talking about, but also how I feel at that very moment whilst speaking.

It then dawned on me, that is exactly how I am when I am having a coffee at some neighbourhood cafe with a friend just having a heart to heart. It’s the sincerity and openness that allows us to connect, no matter the context or setting.

So how do you prepare for your next public speaking gig or presentation? Invite someone close to you over for coffee and go through the entire thing with them and see how they respond to your story. Let them be the reflection of what is needed to really pass on your message.

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All matters concerning the AMEE Online matters for the #AMEE2014  conference being held in Milan
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