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An excerpt from The Way to Communicate

An excerpt from The Way to Communicate

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Published by Mike Harkins
How well are you communicating?
Be normal - why, when, and how to stick with the things that got you there.
Your organization's story is always new to someone who hasn't heard it before. How to be normal and overcome story fatigue.
How well are you communicating?
Be normal - why, when, and how to stick with the things that got you there.
Your organization's story is always new to someone who hasn't heard it before. How to be normal and overcome story fatigue.

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Published by: Mike Harkins on Feb 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/15/2011

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How well are
 you
communicating?
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 successulnonprot was well-regarded, and itsprograms appealed to a wide demo-graphic (my apologies or theconvoluted anonymity; condentiality in the presentation coaching industry is what keeps us in business).Te client had made many V appearances over the years, and hadtold the nonprot’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 identiying what the story is and isn’t.I the storyteller is the very reason the organizationexists (to varying degrees, this is otenthe 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 eective 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 beore. 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 nonprot’s work. We also reviewed what to do themorning o the show. Earlier, the client had made somepassing remarks about breakast and coee. 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.
Be normal 
 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.
 www.thewaytocommunicate.com -- 877-311-0577

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