One Size Does Not Fit All During a Crisis
When it comes to handling yourself during a crisis, it certainly helps to see what other people have done in the past. But it does not mean that the same strategy or same message will work for you.
Case in point, many years ago, Jim Mcgreevey was the governor of New Jersey who was basically caught giving his boyfriend a homeland security position that paid lots of money which he was not qualified enough for. It was a scandal. He completely changed the conversation by announcing to the whole world that he was gay. Everyone forgot about the actual scandal and became interested in this matter.
Fast forward nearly a decade, and all of a sudden Kevin Spacey, the actor is caught in a scandal involving him sexually harassing people who had worked around him on sets, and it appears as though he tried to use the same strategy as Jim. he announced to the world that he was gay. But at this point, so many things had changed in the global culture and hsi attempt seemed like a transparent ploy to change the subject. It struck a lot of people as compounding his mistakes and crimes.
So just because a particular message works at one time in one context, it does not mean that it will work in another as well.
Best Way to Get Hired As a Professional Speaker
What is the best way to get hired as a professional speaker? That so a question I hear all the time, and here is the answer: accomplish something of genuine interest to the rest of the world! People want to hear from someone who has genuinely interesting insights and they have actually accomplished something.
So when Sully Sullenberger landed the plane in the Hudson river, it was something that nobody had ever done before, which is why it instantly catapulted him as one of the top tier professional speakers. People wanted to hear his story. If you found a company and you were poor or ha no education yet did it regardless from an alleyway and now you are a billionaire, people will want to hear you speak. If you have invented a life saving technology, then you will get more speaking gigs.
I am not trying to say that it is a waste of time to become a speaker if people are not knocking on your door or hanging on your phone all the time. But if you are planning a long term public speaking career, you need to ask yourself: have you really accomplished something that is interesting and helpful to the rest of the world? If you have, then the opportunities will come to you.
Questions of Speech Memorization
Today’s question on speaking comes from my Facebook page, and it says: “TJ, as a non native speaker, will you provide tips on how to increase and memorize words needed during a presentation? I am often at a loss for words as in what to say to ensure continuity in my presentation, thus at times, impacting the understanding from the audience. Furthermore, for words seldom used in day to day conversations, would you include some tips for non native speaker?”
Here is my number one piece of advice: do not try to memorize. Do not try to get the exact word just right. It is too difficult. It puts added pressure to your brain and memory at a time when you are already feeling stressed and your memory and ability to recall is not working as well as it usually does.
My advice to you is to focus on the ideas and then use the simplest words that come to your mind. Quite often, in my experience, non native speakers can often be more effective communicators than someone who is speaking in their first language because the latter will be tempted to use bigger and fancier words and jargon. If you are speaking in a language where your vocabulary is limited to a couple of thousand words, then you will actually be more effective.
So my recommendation is that make sure you have great ideas for your audience and communicate them in the simplest words which will be understood by your audience.