How to prepare to make an impact; or in the case of Boris Johnson today, How to prepare so you make a positive impact rather than look foolish. For anyone who has not seen or heard Johnson’s speech to the CBI; here are more details. Or watch his speech:
Over two years ago, I had a heated discussion with members of my family, who believed Johnson was a good public speaker. I did not agree, and have never believed he is an anyway a good public speaker. Why? There are a number of reasons, but one is that I have never been convinced he does anything but ‘wing it’ when he speaks. And to me, he gives the impression he is dictating his thoughts for someone else to edit. Today my family finally agreed with me! No one would deny the speech was ‘unusual’ at the very best. The challenge is that he wasn’t able to disguise that he had not prepared; he showed little respect for his audience, who comprised of business leaders in UK. And finally, everyone is getting tired of the bumbling, ill prepared speaker, who was previously a draw as he entertained.
So why is it so important to be prepared before doing a speech?
There are a number of reasons why it is important to prepare for a speech, such as:
- knowing what you are going to say
- The structure of your speech
- Any call to action at the end of the speech
- Particular content
- Particular examples
If you fail to do some basic preparation – and we are not even talking about practicing or even a technical check before a speech, at some point you will become unstuck. Even the most confident person, and I would put Johnson in this category, will find it challenging to deliver to the best of his ability, because he doesn’t know what he’s going to say. Flicking A4 pieces of paper around on a lectern are not going to help him.
So why am I highlighting the importance of preparing?
I work with talented individuals and teams to ensure their impact in all business conversations is positive; confident; influential and credible. The SuperStar Communicator™ Methodology highlights key skill areas to develop, ensuring you make a positive impact. Preparation is one of the 5 areas, and one that I work closely with, with my clients: whether they are in a meeting, public speaking, presenting, pitching or even speaking to the media.