It’s Tuesday morning, so I’m buzzing around, preparing for The Daily Huddle. I’m a bit of a time tactician and so at 8:30, I realize I have about 20 minutes to spare – just enough time to paint my nails and host the show as they dry. As I apply the final coat of polish, I feel my bladder screaming to be emptied of all the coffee and water I’ve consumed this morning.  

I look down and see a problem: I’m wearing yoga pants. How will I grip them and force them down to my knees without smearing raspberry-colored polish from fingertips to hips?

And then I see them. Hanging from the fridge are two hefty chip clips, one yellow and one blue. 

Fridge with Magnets

Problem solved – I’m thinking like an engineer now! I can tuck my shirt under my chin, grip the yoga pants with the chip clips, and peel my pants down. It takes some careful maneuvering, but it works.

Ahh, sweet relief and I’m ready to host the show. I look down to my ankles and stare at the yoga pants with the two dangling clips. We have another problem. No way can the chip clips pull back up what they pulled down.  

Clearly, I did not think this through.

We find ourselves in challenging, awkward, or irreversible situations when we don’t envision our plans from takeoff to touchdown. This applies to events, projects, and particularly when we open our mouths to speak. If we want our words to be impactful, we need to know where we are going. What is the desired outcome?

Or as we say in the speaking world, “You have to land the plane.”

I’m not suggesting we need a script or rehearsal every time we make a point. I’m saying to reverse-engineer our message by first identifying the point or desired outcome. From there we can craft a relevant and relatable message for the listener (or reader).

When we speak with a clear point in sight, it reduces stress, minimizes distraction, and helps the listener focus in the moment.

Want to know something interesting? The clients who seem to struggle with this are not the anxious speakers, but the confident ones who know how to “work a room.” They are at ease with a microphone or speaking up impromptu in large settings. These folks tend to wind one story into another trusting that the journey is entertaining. Today’s brains are frustrated by this type of communication because we are conditioned for instant gratification. Give your listeners the satisfaction they seek by identifying a clear point and crafting a clear path to get there.

Today’s Talk to the Brain™ Tip is to

Think it Through

  • Know your point
  • Deliver it with a story
  • Simplify the Data
  • State it early and restate it to close

Oh, and by the way, if you don’t think things through, you may find yourself with your pants down. There is some dissension as to whether the term is “buck naked” or “butt naked.” On the day I had wet nails, yoga pants at my ankles, and a show to host – it was definitely #buttnaked.

With love and cheers,
Tara Heaton

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