What’s the difference between a smooth-talker and a good speaker? (VF podcast) This question isn’t obvious because there is none. When a smooth-talker or a good speaker takes to the floor, if he’s in front of you, at first glance there is no difference. And by nature, a smooth-talker is a good speaker. They both create desire, they both capture interest, they both make you want to be interested, to ask questions. The conclusion is therefore brutal, we cannot distinguish a smooth-talker from a good speaker.
The only distinction, imperceptible to the audience most of the time, lies in their purpose, the intention they have behind their speech. While the good speaker is there to serve a cause, defend his ideas, a project, his company, the smooth-talker is also speaking to serve a cause, but not just any one; his own! Sometimes for manipulative purposes… A showman, smooth-talker at heart, is utterly sincere when he speaks. He’s getting his goal wrong though, by showing that he’s enjoying the exercise, rather than defending the cause of his project.
Whatever the profile of the speaker, one thing is certain: only time will tell if they are a good speaker or a smooth-talker. Because, when the good speaker will have implemented his project by bringing people on board, the smooth-talker will simply be selling dreams.
FROM A SMOOTH-TALKER TO A GOOD SPEAKER
For the smooth-talker
Being a smooth-talker can become tempting when one is comfortable with public-speaking. But keep in mind that this is always a short-term career, and as soon as you are identified as someone who doesn’t follow through or has cheated on his intentions, you will have a lot of difficulty in mobilizing people when you will need to. You have this talent to speak; now find a cause to defend.
For those who are hiding behind the smooth-talkers.
A smooth-talker could also serve as very practical screen, which protects all those who do not want to be on stage. And yet, it is these people who carry the ideas, carry the projects, and set the teams in motion. But because these people are stressed, or because they are not ready, they leave the floor for others to speak, for those who enjoy it. And unfortunately, no one other than them is in the best position to champion these ideas.
3 PILLARS TO BECOME A GOOD SPEAKER
The stake in any speech is gaining the trust of those listening to you.
It is essential to mobilize, in order to sell or to obtain support. Without trust, there’s no commitment. And precisely, a good speaker is one who inspires confidence. This trust is nourished by Three pillars that are at the heart of our Stage Presence Goal® method: storytelling, emotions and relationships.
How you get your messages across is as important as the messages themselves. It is therefore crucial to take the time to work on the narration, in other words, your speech. To work on this narration, you can challenge yourself. For example, by talking about your projects to those around you in a simple enough way so that they can be able to have an opinion about them, or to be able to clarify your mission and the role you play to your wife / husband and children. By doing this, you are creating a message that everyone is capable of grasping and that is valuable; and it is because you are clear about the meaning, the stakes and the concrete contribution of your projects that you will be more effective in transmitting them.
People who leave a strong impression on others are people who have a strong emotional commitment to what they do. Look around you, the people who impact others, who inspire, who make you want to act, are emotionally committed people, who talk about their projects with heart. There’s a simple reason: the emotions we feel are directly related to our ability to remember the messages. If you have an emotionally engaged voice, we will remember the emotions that you communicate, and this will make us remember you and want to transmit them in turn. For this, it is essential to be clear on the path of your intentions. If this topic is important to you, what exactly is important to you? What are your fears? What drives you? What do you think is great? What are you expecting? It is because you are clear about how you feel about your idea that you will make others want to move the lines.
Everyone can speak in the shower or in front of their mirror. However, in front of an audience, you need to constantly stimulate your relationship with others. A good speaker is one who accompanies the audience on the path of his thoughts. Like a mountain guide going over a somewhat complicated pass, he slows down the pace, he explains several times, he asks questions to see if everyone has understood correctly. This is what livens up the relationship: being clear about your story, clear about the emotions that engage you, and taking the time to engage the people who are listening to you. By considering your audience and their needs, you fuel the relationships between you. This consideration combined with your commitment to your project will fully mobilize the audience.
Becoming a good speaker is a necessary skill if you sincerely want to share your ideas and move your projects forward. Because to speak is to have power. The power to move the lines, to advance your projects. It is still necessary though for introverts to succeed in overcoming their fear. Because if you don’t claim your power, you’re leaving room for the smooth talker. A smooth-talker, who may one day take your place and talk about your project just because he presents better than you. Dare to defend YOUR ideas.