How do you find your own unique speaking style? I see a lot of speaker’s struggle with their identity at the front of the room. Who are you? How much of the real you do you want to show the world?
Amanda Genther who is the brand developer for passion-powered entrepreneurs had an exercise on her blog about coming up with the 3 words that get to the essence of your brand. What if we replace the word brand with the word speaker? Could this same exercise help speakers become clear on who they are as a speaker and what they want to give to their audience?
Using Amanda’s exercise I came up with my 3 speaking words and then I’ll guide you to find yours.
What excited me most about speaking forming connections with other people. When I am in front of the room, I love the energy exchange that occurs between myself and the audience. Sometimes that energy sends me rocketing into the atmosphere and other times it brings me down to earth and tells me I can do better. It’s connecting with the audience and sharing a message that makes me want to speak.
I want to infuse my audience (just like a good shot of vodka) with inspiration and the power to embrace their imperfections as speakers and improve their communication. It’s my goal to infuse them with knowledge. This word serves dual-purpose. For me as a speaker, I want to infuse every presentation with fun, my quirky personality and a bit laughter. If speaking is not fun, why do it?
I firmly believe speaking and putting yourself out their is a vulnerable act. Being vulnerable with your audience, let’s them no that you are made entirely out of human parts. I’m not saying that you have to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets. It’s an act of vulnerability to be yourself in front of an audience with all your flaws.
Let’s use Amanda’s formula slightly adapted for speakers.
Step 1: What do you want to do for your audience? How do you want to feel as a speaker?
Brainstorm a list of words that you love or that excite you about speaking. Thinking about why you want to speak (even if you have to for job). What do you hope to accomplish for the people who are listening to you? Write down every word that comes to mind. Like Amanda suggests, grab a Thesaurus or visit Thesaurus.com for help.
Step 2: What words resonate most with you?
Now take that list and whittle it down to 3 words that best describe you and the relationship you aspire to have with your audience when speaking.
Step 3: Find images that represent your speaker words
Go to Pinterest, Flickr Creative Commons, or a stock image site and look for images that resonate with you and best represent your words. Then you can add your words using a free text editor (or if you have a Mac you can do this in preview).
There you go! You have the words that embody your own speaking style. Let me know what your 3 words are in the comments below.
Do yourself a favor and go to Amanda’s site and sign-up for her newsletter. She has one of the most helpful and fun blogs on the Internet about branding.