Much of today’s self-help and personal development programs and materials are geared towards the ‘quick fix’ crowd. People want results fast and the want them with minimal effort. It’s like the film The Matrix where whenever a character within the supercomputer needs to learn a skill, the needed knowledge is downloaded in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many tools only feed this frenzy, life simply does not work like that.
If you want to put your audience to sleep then go through the typical motions of putting together a speech without thinking much about why you’re there and who you’re speaking to. If you want breathe life into your audience and capture their attention, then you need to add one critical ingredient to your talk – passion.
No, not that kind of passion – the passion I’m talking about is an excited interest in what you’re talking about. Passion and excitement are contagious – just try it out in everyday conversations. When you add it to your speeches, it has a similar effect on your audience. If you’re excited, some of the people will become excited and start paying closer attention to you. Then, almost like a virus, that excitement and interest spreads to the other people in the audience. As people starting paying close attention to you, the people sitting around them subconsciously think to themselves “hmm. if that person is listening, maybe I should as well.” So as more and more people in the audience notice the people around them paying close attention, the effect spreads until it reaches most (if not all) members of the audience.
I’ve been noticing more and more personal development “experts” knocking people that have jobs and pretty much calling them inferior. Some go as far as calling them slaves. A few years ago, I would have shared their opinion (but not nearly as strongly). However, two things have changed my mind. First, I’ve met a number of people that actually very happy with their jobs and the work-life balance that it gives them. But the big eye opener for me was when I taught my first Job Interview class a few years back — half the people in the room were business owners looking to get back into a nine to five position.