Ideas are the currency of our century. Think about things that went big in the last 10 years. Facebook, Kickstarter, Snapchat. They were all ideas first. An excellent thought transferred from subconscious to reality. You have those ideas too.
Ideas can land you your dream job, receive a grant from the university, secure a partnership with an important client, or simply make you look good to others. In some cases ideas can make you simply smash life and grow to something bigger you ever expected.
I know you have great ideas too. I know because I have them as well. Everyone has.
So how come that I have never heard about any of your ideas?
It’s not your fault
The thing about great ideas is that they rarely can be materialized on your own. You need buy-in from others. You need to convince, persuade, inspire, motivate or simply, transfer information in a clear and effective way. That requires that you raise your hand, stand up, get out there and tell the world about your thing.
And you simply won’t. Not because you don’t want to, but because you don’t know how. Nobody ever showed you how.
It’s not your fault.
Think about it for second. Close your eyes (wait, not yet, then it won’t work!) and get back to your school times. Can you recall any focused, educational effort to make you better at communicating your ideas? Maybe in primary school? Secondary school. No? What about college? University? Anything? If you can name something, then you are a member of a very small club.
But even then. Was this a focused effort? Or were you simply “giving a presentation”? Where was the focus? The content or the form? I bet it was the content. You were asked to prepare a presentation on a certain topic. For majority that is synonymous to copy-pasting text on slides. You did that too, didn’t you?
It’s not your fault either.
It’s not their fault
Your teachers were bad at communicating their ideas and content, so how were you supposed learn from them? They were focusing on the content and content only. This explains why half of the class either slept through the lecture or could not remember a thing the next day. The good form of delivering ideas in an interesting and clear way was simply not there. Rings a bell? (I nailed it with this pun, I know. I know…)
Then you went to work. Got a job. And since then you have been dying inside, just a little, every time someone stands in front of you delivering a presentation. Whether that’s your boss, senior colleague or Judy the HR manager. You sit there and beg for mercy, nodding while sporting your well-practiced social smile (experience matters!). I know the feeling. But have mercy for those poor presenters as well.
It’s not their fault.
They finished they same schools you did. Followed the same path. So naturally they are doing the same thing everyone does when it comes to communicating their ideas. They fail.
Our educational model has put you on the fast track to being mediocre and average. To keep your great ideas to yourself. You must resist this and jump out of that train while you still can.
Learn how to tell (and sell) your ideas
The society has left you with the short end of the stick when it comes to educating you on how to present your great ideas to the world. You need to take responsibility for yourself and invest into becoming a better speaker and communicator.
Realize that nobody will ever know how smart you are or what great ideas you have, unless you can communicate them in a clear, effective and confident way.
Where do you start?
Becoming an effective idea-seller is not a 5-minute activity. But hey. Everything always has a start. This one is not difficult at all! So what do you do?
Implement these 3 simple tips today to start shifting the way you communicate ideas to others:
1. Be ready to tell them what’s in it for them
We are all self-centered. That’s why you always like to talk about yourself. Your audience is the same. Leverage that. Whatever idea you have, make sure you start your talk by planting a seed of an urgent benefit. Use a story, interesting insight, a statistic. Anything that highlights the benefit of listening to whatever you have planned next. But don’t stop there. Research shows that you will get best results when you tell them what they will lose if they not listen to you.
They won’t care about your ideas if they won’t see a benefit for them.
It’s not about what you know. It never was! It’s about how what you know can affect the life of your audience.
2. Break the pattern
Human brain is lazy. It wants to stay lazy so it learns fast. And it filters a lot. What gets filtered the most are things that your brain has seen before. Things that are similar to things it has identified as worthless. Your brain simply goes: Hmm, I think I’ve seen something similar before. It sucked. I made a mistake of paying attention last time. It won’t happen again. Let me conserve my energy for some other occasion.
You don’t want to end up in the same bucket so you need to do something different.
They will shut down to your message if you say it the way they are used to hearing it.
Break the pattern of what your audience’s brains expect. Shock them. Think about the quality and diversity of most presentations you have seen in your life. It really doesn’t take that much to shock or impress the brain with something new. Think how most talks start in your industry or field. Do something else. Find some ideas on how to do it by clicking the link below.
Less is more. Simpler is better.
One of the main things I’ve always struggled with as a speaker, trainer or teacher was that I tried to tell the audience as much as possible. I figured that would create the most value for them and, of course, position me as the know-it-all expert (see, tip#1 at work: what’s in it for me?)
This looks great on paper, but fails in reality. Sitting in the audience is hard work. It really is. An average person listening to you has no idea about what you are talking about, your content or the details of your message. They don’t know where you are going with it. They don’t see the final punchline, the big reveal.
They are not you. But you still tell it to them like you would tell an already beaten-to-death family story you hear during every Christmas, when everyone knows the details and how it ends. Your audience doesn’t.
Audience is hard work. Make is simple and easy to follow. Use plenty of repetition.
Make it simple. Layout your big idea in 3 key points. Use clear links. Repeat your key message several times. Use the golden rule of speaking well, which I call “3T – Tell Three Times” across your whole talk:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you have just told them
Human brain loves repetition.
Wrapping it up
These are just three of the many things you can apply during your next talk, presentation or discussion that matters. Don’t be like the rest. Make your ideas stand out and get noticed. It won’t happen if you simply talk about them. Do it right.
Raise your hand, stand up, get out there and tell the world about your thing.
Now let me know:
- What is your approach to talking about important things?
- Which of these ideas you are going to use soon?
Leave a comment now.