Breakthrough!: Quick tips that will insure you connect with your entire audience.

Author: Brad Cooper


You've prepared the perfect speech. The stories flow, the content is practical, and the preparation time has been invested. But have you examined the roots?

Traditionally, speakers carefully note the type of industry and potentially even the demographics (ie, age, sex, education, etc) of the audience. Unfortunately, that isn't deep enough! Instead, an effective speaker must go to the roots - beneath the low hanging fruit of industry and the standard demographics and down to temperament/personality styles present in their audience. By doing so, the speaker will be able to go one step deeper with the audience - addressing core needs.

The first step to getting to the roots is to understand the basics of the four Temperaments. While far more depth is certainly valuable, even a cursory understanding will help set you on the right track for greater success.

Artisans are looking for options and want to be producing results or rousing impact. They often seek freedon, variation and tend to trust impulses, including their first impression of the speaker!

Guardians appreciate predictability and sequential structure. They keep a close eye on tradition and value security and stability. They are gifted at insuring things are "done right," whether the way a word is used in a sentence or the arrangement of the agenda.

Rationals are the people seeking the answers. Competence is supremely important to this person. As a result, they are constantly asking "why" and producing new theories and designs for the process. They trust logic and reasoning skills.

Catalyst™s place the greatest emphasis on authenticity and personal growth. They tend to be relationship oriented and trust their intuition. Making the world a better place is at the top of their priority list, and they appreciate this trait in others as well.

As you can imagine, the potential landmines awaiting you due to these differences are expansive! The best place to start is to be sure you cover all your bases. Perform the following "self-audit" to insure each temperament is addressed at some level.

Beginning with the Catalyst™, remember that relationships and authenticity are critical for this person. The personal connection is a must. Spending time meeting attendees before and after the program is seen as a positive, as are stories that show you as a "real" person. Bragging or selling from the platform can immediately turn off the Catalyst™, so tread lightly!

The Theorist™, focused on knowledge and understanding and wants to know why you're qualified to be on the stage. Address this concern out of the gate with subtle references to your background (without turning off the Catalyst™, of course). It is also important to reference the research behind your theories and statements. And, even if your focus is "motivational" in nature, check to be sure logic plays a part.

For the Stabilizer™, sequential structure (order) will take you a long way. The speech coach who said "tell them what you're going to tell them... then tell them... then tell them what you just told them" summarized quite well the needs of the Stabilizer™. While you may not want to go quite that far, certainly do double-check for an overall structure in your presentation.

Then there's the Improviser™, needing options and the freedom to choose the steps followed. Add some flare and energy to your presentation. Talk about the incredible impact that will result. Share a variety of choices for putting your suggestions into place. And finally, fire up those performance skills, as Artisans will appreciate such skills.

The problem is, it's tough to change habits! You are who you are. You have your own personal style of presenting. Should you really change that? No. Instead, simply perform a self-audit of your program before finalizing it and make a few minor adjustments so you don't leave out a significant portion of your audience.

Most likely, you naturally address the needs of your own temperament. Many speakers happen to be Artisans. They enjoy the stage, love to share stories and want to make a big impact! In this case, no additional "Improviser™-additions" need be considered. However, it is common for the Improviser™ to neglect providing a sequence to the program, include some greater depth of research and even "oversell" from the platform, any of which would shut down the attention of the other three temperaments.

Making such adjustments aren't easy - but neither is speaking! However, the return on your investment will include more interest and application on the part of your entire audience.


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