What’s your signature move as a public speaker? If you have one, your signature move…
The Number One Best Way to Explain Anything as a Public Speaker
Have you noticed the best public speakers are those who have absolute clarity?
You listen to them, and it is crystal clear the point they are making. They frame the information in such a way that it is so easy to listen to them. This makes them relatable because you are not sitting there trying to decode or figure out what they are saying.
The speaking greats have clarity of purpose, clarity of message and clarity of story. Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, said, “Don’t forget the divinity of simplicity.”
There is one tool that surpasses any other when it comes to drawing in your audience; it’s the powerful tool of the metaphor.
A metaphor is defined in common dictionary terms as “A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else.” In public speaking, it’s a tool used to explain the complex in a simple way so that your audience can easily and simply relate to the idea or concept you are explaining; you can use a metaphor to explain something that would not normally be used to explain it.
Last week, I stumbled upon a brilliant example of a metaphor:
A young up and coming speaker, Carol, was delivering an introduction about herself to her audience. She said, “My passion is doing jigsaw puzzles.” Carol explained that a jigsaw puzzle with 1000 pieces is the perfect size to fit on her kitchen table. On her slides, we saw the images of her different puzzle creations. After showing us the images, she highlighted her favourite ever puzzle; it was an image of Paris. She said, “The problem with it is that when I went to finish the puzzle, I noticed the last piece was missing; I felt so disappointed. I even contacted the manufacturer and asked them to send me the puzzle piece, but it never arrived.” I absolutely loved this! What was Carol’s frustration, turned into a lesson for us. Carol was applying a ‘my pain is your gain’ methodology.
This metaphor could be so easily applied to teach a lesson. There are numerous lessons where it could be used, but the one that springs to mind for me is to use it to explain about success:
You could talk about how as human beings, we are always striving to meet a goal or achieve the next level and that sometimes we strive for perfection, and because it does not exist, it is our imperfections that make us interesting, relatable and human. You could go on to say that, yes, each of us has our own little missing puzzle piece and that instead of rejecting it or hiding it from the world, we can embrace it and love it, diminishing any shame it could have brought. You could then ask the audience, “What is your missing puzzle piece?” Doing this you are using the power of the metaphor to help them learn, reflect and then make that change.
A metaphor is one of the best ways to draw in your audience, explain simply and connect on levels you never even dreamed of. You can have your audience eating out of your hand.
If you are challenged by coming up with the perfect metaphor for you as a public speaker, then get in touch in the comments below. I’ll help to bring it out of you; we’ll get there together, and you’ll be connecting with your audience like never before!
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