It seems logical to associate communication with the intent to say something, and somewhere yes this is the first step. However whatever we say, what makes the difference is how the person in front receive that communication, and she will decide to make out of that communication.
Two things truly matters when it comes to communication. First, what happens at the receiver of your message. Second, the dynamic or system created between you and the receiver(s). And these two items rely mainly on the intent of our communication. This will be true for any type of communication, either be a conversation, a presentation, a lecture, a public speech, a comic show. You’ve read it correctly: the purpose of any communication is to “achieve a specific intent”, either we are aware of it or not.
I’m sure you have already been through that situation: you come to see a friend to share something that has been troubling you; what you are looking for is “an ear to listen to you”, but as soon as you speak, your friend launches into series of advises and questions… and you get hyper. How come? A simple misalignment of intention.
I could add, communications, such as conversations or public speeches, are living organisms, and I will come back onto that point next week.
Managing our own emotions and our own self, gives us more awareness around the intent of our communication, and the means available to share that intent. You’re right, here we are talking self-leadership, directly applied to public speaking (or communications).
Today, another two simple exercises to explore this notion of intent. For while, you want to repeat our first exercise daily, and then on an ad-hoc basis when you feel like it. Exercise two is to be done once for fun, and on an ad-hoc basis when you feel like it.
1 – Exercise ONE: on a daily basis, as you go to meeting, conversations, presentation, public speaking activity on stage, ask yourself before going there “what is the intent of my upcoming public interaction?” if possible note this information on an agenda or a notepad. When back from the conversation, note if your initial intent was met.
2 – Exercise TWO: take a moment to visualise yourself giving a speech of 2 to 3 minutes (either a presentation at a meeting or an onstage speech, you choose); once completed and that you have visualise yourself coming back quietly to your chair while everything went fine, take a piece of paper, and note everything you can identify in this visualisation, everything you see, hear, smell, touch and feel; if necessary be really precise.
Let me know how it goes in the comments section below.
And see you tomorrow, for our next episode “What type of speakers are you?”.