Be specific

To explain today’s tip, let me use an example.

I have to write a speech about...let’s say “communication” 

I don’t know what to say!

I don’t know how to start!

I am at a loss for words!

It’s too vague...

I should focus on something more specific... 

...How about “communication between partners at the beginning of a romantic relationship”?  It’s more specific and it’s exiting!

Who will listen to the speech by the way?

Serious and organized people would have started by asking this question straight away from the beginning. Creative and somehow disorganized people may think of it a little bit later. Never mind. For whom am I writing this speech?

 Well, dear reader of this blog, this speech is for people like you! My audience will be made of public speakers, public speaking trainees or people who might consider joining a public speaking club...

 So maybe “communication between partners at the beginning of a romantic relationship” isn’t relevant?

 So... let’s keep thinking...how about: “Treat your audience like a date, treat your date like an audience!”

 I have found a catch phrase! The subject, expressed in a more detailed way, could be:

 “The ways we communicate when engaged in love affairs can be used on stage”

We all have experience of love affairs, even me! 

 With a subject as vague as “communication” I did not know what to say. With “Treat your audience like a date” I feel inspired..

 Nothing beats a little story to get right to the core of a subject matter. Telling a story is the more specific you can go. 

David is dating Linda. Or maybe it’s Linda who is dating David. Looking at them with total indiscretion from a nearby table in that restaurant, I wonder: Which one of them is leading the dance? They look so synchronized! Facing each other, they both sit on the edge of their seats, leaning forward, elbows on the table. His hands are gesturing as he speaks, hers are supporting her chin. Now, she is speaking and her hands are moving... Let’s leave them alone...

 Next picture: Linda is on stage, talking to an audience. She is standing; however her body language is very similar to sitting on the edge of a chair! She is slightly leaning forward, as if she felt like embracing them all! Her hands are gesturing, accompanying her smiles and eye contact...

 

  Now, instead of dating, I might as well have chosen “communication between neighbours in old buildings” and described a conversation in the staircase between dog lovers...  (or dog haters, or between a dog lover and a dog hater...)

What I wanted to tell you is that the more specific we are the better. All the important things, principles and generalities will follow...

If you have to write a best man speech, don’t try to write a comprehensive biography. Pick up a particular event or specific traits of the groom’s character. Taking it from there, you will create a whole picture...