How well are
Tis was clearly the case whenMaureen Merrill, the principal o Harris-Merrill Consulting, asked me toassist her with a client preparing or anappearance on a nationally broadcast,morning television show.Te work o the client’s successulnonprot was well-regarded, and itsprograms appealed to a wide demo-graphic (my apologies or theconvoluted anonymity; condentiality in the presentation coaching industry is what keeps us in business).Te client had made many V appearances over the years, and hadtold the nonprot’s story so many times that story atigue had set in. Itno longer seemed resh or exciting,and the client began to worry aboutsounding egotistical. Te client wantedto change how the story was presentedbut couldn’t nd a way to do that without seeming to be at the center o the story.Tis isn’t an unusual situation. Story atigue and the “I always sound likeI’m talking about mysel” eeling can be a natural result when people who ormed an organization, and remainvested in the organization’s success, are also the bestchoice to be its spokesperson.Story atigue is remedied by identiying what the story is and isn’t.I the storyteller is the very reason the organizationexists (to varying degrees, this is otenthe case), the storyteller can considerhimsel or hersel as the organization’smobile museum. Te storyteller be-comes the carrier o the story, and heor she just happens to be an integralpart o it. Acceptance o this as objec-tively true is the rst step to removingthe storyteller’s ego, the sense o sel,rom the story. An eective mentalexercise to support this approach isto have the ounder or creator o theorganization imagine being in theaudience as the story is told. It givesthe speaker a perspective rom whichhe or she can ‘hear’ the story.Next, the storyteller has to acceptthat the story is always new to those who haven’t heard it beore. As story atigue develops, the storytellerincreasingly eels that he is talkingabout himsel, even though he alwaystells the same story. Te storytellerloses ocus on the purpose o thestory, which is to share it with anaudience. When a storyteller ocuseson himsel – “I bet I look great uphere,” or “I suck right now” – theteller’s and the story’s impact arediminished.Realigning the spokesperson’sobjectiveness about the story and itspurpose should re-energize the storyteller.Tis resonated with Maureen’s client, and helpedthe client regain some o the natural enthusiasm orthe nonprot’s work. We also reviewed what to do themorning o the show. Earlier, the client had made somepassing remarks about breakast and coee. I thought it was a good idea to review the wenty-Minutes-to-
Please enjoy this selection rom
The Way to Communicate
,enlightening guidance orbetter personal communicationand presenting skills, written byveteran media consultant MikeHarkins or release in 2010 byPortsmouth Publishing.
Why, when, and how to stick with the things that got you there
Normal is diferent or everyone.
Ishall never ully understand why peoplechoose to deviate rom whatever normalis or them just when normal is whatthey need most.
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