“Shut up.”
It’s so harsh. In elementary school, we were told that “shut up” was as unacceptable as the F word. And then we grow up, and some of the words we dared not utter have surfaced. Although it’s losing its flair for irreverence, I’m an F-word fan. Sometimes, it just works. However, to say out loud, “Shut up!?” Now that’s profanity – I can’t say it.

But I do think it. Does that count?

I’m helping a client refine her signature talk – one that is designed to win new clients. She can craft a story and skillfully tie it into the unique value of her wellness programs. But then she hinders the potential for impact. She keeps going, explaining the value again, with different verbiage, as if it will help the point to stick. This tendency often backfires and causes the listener to become frustrated or lose interest.

Two (of the many) things our brain needs to remember a message are simplicity and repetition. More than ever before, our brains are on overload.

Much of our energy is devoted to reacting, organizing, and planning. This is our beta wave mode — the high-frequency state when our brain is seeking rest in the form of a solution. We are competing with beta waves anytime we launch into monologue mode.

When someone approaches us with a novel idea, it needs to be simple and clear, so that we can retain it. That’s the easy part.

Be simple, succinct, and crystal clear.

But where this gets derailed is when we don’t trust in the impact of our clear statement. When we make a captivating statement and then continue to justify or prove it, we are diminishing the potential for impact. This confuses the listener. Only when our amygdala deems a speaker trustworthy (safe) and our limbic system agrees the message brings value, will our brain work hard enough to try and store a confusing or diluted message.

Zig Ziglar once said, “Repetition is the mother of mastery.” This also applies to speaking. Our brain is an ecosystem, always striving to conserve energy. So when it’s confused or low on motivation, it repels new information. Repetition helps listeners retain a message and recall it later.

Remember this famous line?
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

In Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk, which has been viewed over 18 million times on YouTube alone, he makes that same statement SIX TIMES. Why? Because he knows that’s what his audience needs. An inspiring talk is only sustainable if it can live on through the words of those who hear it.

With deepest apologies to my second-grade teacher Mrs. Milhouse,

Today’s Talk to the Brain™ Tip is to

Shut up.

  1. Invite intrigue
  2. Tell your story
  3. Make your point

Your stories matter.

Your stories are gifts of wisdom that only you can share.

Your stories are treasures that the world needs to hear.

Now shut up and own your wisdom.

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