After you draft your resume, write your cover letter, and submit your application for your dream job, next comes the interview. It’s in this unique setting of interpersonal communication that you have the best opportunity to differentiate yourself and take the next step in your career development.
Recall the times you’ve solved problems, collaborated, exceeded expectations, handled adversity, made mistakes, made amends, set records, delivered on-time, said ‘thank you,’ and led your organizations.
We’ve experienced a lot, but we rarely take time to record the details and build a story library of these experiences.
Thirty-five thousand years ago, in a sandy-floored cave illuminated by the flicker of fire light on the tropical island of Indonesia, a human hand reached out of the darkness and began to paint. Animals, murals, everyday objects, still life, but all…stories. Whether in art or oration, stories have been part of the human tapestry since the very beginning.
Stories are the epitome of effective communication.
Brussels sprouts are rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants, contain robust quantities of vitamins, and are a reliable source of heart-healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Despite this impressive bundle of benefits, Americans consume, on average, less than one pound of brussels sprouts each year.
Why am I talking about brussels sprouts in a newsletter on oral communication? Good question.
Maybe your kitchen sink looked like mine when I was single--full of every plate, pan, utensil, and glass. When I caught a glimpse of it, I would feel frustrated and overwhelmed. To escape that distress, I would just avoid it. But it’s not just the kitchen sink that can get overloaded; presentations can also get packed with everything from the speaker's proverbial kitchen, and when they do, audiences get overwhelmed and tune out.
In 2008, architecture firms lined up for the opportunity to pitch their plans to build a new iconic baseball stadium in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. It was a dream contract, and firms clambered to win it.
While many of the pitches focused on design elements and amenities like a retractable roof, new-age materials, luxury boxes, enhanced concession stands, club seating, and other revenue producing features, one architecture firm took a different approach. One firm took a winning approach.
It’s a Saturday morning and you are in the middle of a friendly game of golf. On the 8th hole you walk up to the ball, set your target, and select a club. You start your backswing, shift your weight forward, strike the ball, and follow through. You look up to see the ball flying hundreds of feet...off target and toward the adjacent fairway. Humiliated, you announce to your group that you are “hitting another ball.” You’re taking a mulligan.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a mulligan in every aspect of our lives? In many things we can--transferring schools, changing jobs, switching careers. These are all are do-overs.
In public speaking and presenting, there are no mulligans, no second chances, no do-overs.
If you win this work, it will be a game-changer!
It’s a huge account, and you’ve made it to the final round of selection. All you need to do is ace the presentation to land this life-changing client. Because of the job’s size and scope, the presentation requires contributions from a large and diverse number of people from different divisions of your project team. Everything is riding on your team’s presentation.