How Did a College Intern Trump Me in Public Speaking?

threeHow did a college intern trump me in public speaking? My marketing intern from Berkley College in New York City is from Korea and she is studying marketing as well as working on her English language skills. That was one of the reasons she was interested in interning with DiResta Communications. This semester Alaina is taking classes in marketing research and public speaking.

Last week, she came into my office to tell me she had given her first speech in her college public speaking course and got an A!  We were so proud of her especially since English is her second language. When I was in college, I only got a B. And today I'm a professional speaker! So what did she know that I didn't?

Alaina shared with us that her professor complimented her on using the Rule of Three. She had learned about the power of three last month when I was coaching a client by skype. My client was interviewing for a job and we had just worked on her personal branding statement. I asked my college intern to sit in front of the computer to listen to the branding statement. She remembered that the client listed three skills. I explained the power of three in presentations especially in the U.S. culture.

She quickly applied the lesson in her public speaking class and scored an A. She had an unfair advantage-personal advice from a professional speaker and executive speech coach. To learn more about the Rule of Three and why it's important click here.

Change your Language to Lead... or Crash and Burn

Languages of the WorldAccording to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, language can impact bottom line results. He suggests that in the airline industry, where Korea is the most hierarchical culture, lower ranking flight crews were afraid to voice concern to superiors. As a result, Korean Airlines had the most crashes. How did they resolve this problem? They changed the language of the cockpit to English.  By changing the tone in the cockpit, staff had a different context, culture  and a way of being heard.

Although there's some controversy over whether their improved flight record was a result of a change in language or a change in personnel policies, the bottom line is that the language one uses directly impacts one's ability to influence a situation. Men and women sometimes use language differently, which can cause miscommunication and an erosion of influence. Speakers or leaders who use clear, specific, definitive language increase their credibility.  Language is powerful.

How do you speak to your audience? To your superiors? To your peers and direct reports? To your customers? To your shareholders?  Leaders who lack executive presence, may not be using language effectively.

Ambiguous questions and weak language can undermine leadership, and result in lost opportunities and sales.

The DiResta Communications approach to presentation is the Science of Speaking-what confidence looks like, sounds like and how to speak the language of confidence. Our coaching programs improve leadership communication and organizational effectiveness.

Words Have Power

Monday, January 24th was National Compliment Day.  I had to travel two hours to coach a CEO who was out- of - state and I didn't have much computer time. So before I left, I sent a tweet telling my followers to compliment five people. I was surprised when one person immediately sent me a compliment. It made me feel good. I emailed a few people my compliments and took off for my trip. I was not prepared for what was about to happen next. People started responding to my words. One friend wrote:

"YOU have no idea what a wonderful friend you are and always will be to me, or how much I needed this today.  I had a horrible day at work and your compliment lifted my spirits to the sun and back. Thank you."

Another person wrote:  "Thank you so much, Diane. You have no idea how much I needed that."

When I told my husband I sent him a compliment he started walking upstairs. I asked him where he was going. He said, "I'm going to the computer to read my compliment."

It truly hit home what power there is in words and how starved people are for a word of appreciation. They weren't sent a testimonial letter-just one simple compliment. Their reaction surprised me. It made me want to continue wrapping people in  words of praise.  Words not only have the power to change people's emotions and self-esteem, but they empower the speaker who uses them. Imagine how one sentence can change the way someone experiences their day.

Public  speakers  have an incredible power.  It's the power of the spoken word. A  public speaker has a platform and what a privilege it is! The right word, perfectly timed, and said in the right voice can LITERALLY lift people's spirits. Martin Luther King had this gift. Joel Osteen has this gift, too. But you don't have to be a gifted speaker to impact lives in a positive way. You don't even have to be in front of a group. All you have to do is speak your word. And then the magic happens.