Business talks don’t have to be boring

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There is an assumption that business talks, by their nature, are boring, as exemplified in this post. This is good news, in a sad sort of way. It’s like the old joke about the two guys trying to outrun a grizzly: “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I only have to outrun you.” Since expectations are so low, anything you do that raises your talk above the level of boring makes you outstanding in the eyes of the audience.

The simplest way to do this is to remember why we do the “out loud” stuff in the first place. Just asking that question and answering it is likely to put you way ahead of the competition all by itself.

I suspect the real answer in a lot of cases is, “It’s expected.” That statement contains several grains of truth, but as long as you’re going to talk anyway, why not go beyond expectations? Probe deeper. Why did this “out loud” stuff start in the first place? It’s not just a cheap way to disseminate information. At least since the 1800s, printing on paper has been cheaper than the time of the speakers and listeners. The advent of the Internet effectively reduces the cost of “printing” to zero, and yet people still go to a lot of trouble to get together to hear one another speak.

Even in business, especially in business, speech goes beyond simply sharing information. There simply is no better way to connect. We attempt to achieve it through the telephone, through Skype, through Google Hangouts, and we get closer as the technology improves. But we still find no real substitute for getting together in the same room and talking.

The information you share out loud matters, but you could have shared information in other ways just as effectively. Speech is not about getting the words right; it’s about giving the words impact. If you remember that, the value you bring to “out loud” will make it worth someone’s time to listen to you.

Photo Credit: bitshaker cc

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Author: Donn King

Donn King works with people who want to forge top-notch speaking skills to increase their influence and impact so they can advance their career or business. He is associate professor of communication studies at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as a speaker and writer. His background includes ministry, newspaper, radio, small magazines and other publications, as well as co-authoring a textbook and blogging.