Learn a Skill Which Will Super-Charge Your Career"
By Cliff Kuhn, M.D.
The Laugh Doctor
Being a motivational speaker can be very rewarding work...and it can be very frustrating. In this article I will reveal to you the single most important skill that the best, most sought-after, "gurus" possess. You'll be surprised because it's not what you think. And you'll be pleased because it's definitely a skill you can easily sharpen!
As a motivational speaker you know the thrill of touching lives. Unfortunately you also know the disappointment of a disinterested audience. And, after experiencing the highs and lows of this wonderful job, you know that the only way to make your desired impact is to make an intimate connection.
But you only have a few hours (if you count the time before and after your talk too) to make that vital, intimate connection. The best, most sought after motivational speakers, however, are able to do that with time to spare. How, you ask?
By using humor, of course. The best motivational speakers know that humor is the shortest distance between two people. And the best news for you, if you'd like to join the upper echelon in this field, is that the most appropriate and effective use of humor has nothing to do with making other people laugh.
Nope. You don't have to learn to be a stand-up comedian! The best motivational speakers certainly aren't and they're doing quite well.
So how do the best use humor? What do they know? I'm about to reveal their secret to you.
In fact, I've written a Fun Commandment tailor-made for motivational speakers - Listen Very Carefully. You'll find that practicing this Commandment will allow you to use humor to make instant connections, both with large groups and with individuals. And you'll never need to learn how to tell a single joke!
What Does Listening Very Carefully Have to do with Being a Motivational Speaker?
Listening very carefully is your most valuable tool for success, not just as a motivational speaker but in any endeavor. If you think about your most recent attempts to make things happen and influence someone, I think you'll agree that your ability to communicate effectively or your willingness to put in more hours are not your most valuable assets. The single best way to make an intimate connection is to Listen Very Carefully.
The challenge, whether speaking to one person or addressing a group, is to seek to understand rather than be understood. As a motivational speaker, I know how much you want to be understood! You can't help it - you have a burning desire to help people improve their lives with the great information you have for them.
But you will never become truly impactful until you learn to Listen Very Carefully. This means listening with all your senses - your ears, your eyes, and, most importantly, your heart.
Listening, to be sure, is a discipline that requires practice. It is not automatic. As a psychiatrist, and a motivational speaker, I would like to tell you that I am always a careful listener. But I would be lying.
In know that you often find yourself so enthusiastic about your own ideas that you can't keep quiet about them. Consequently, you don't hear anything I am communicating! Even when I'm taking (or communicating non-verbally to you), instead of listening to me, you're concentrating on the next thing you want to say.
You're not doing this because you don't care about me. You're only doing it because you aren't used to practicing Listening Very Carefully. But that will change...starting today!
How to Use My Fun Commandment to Become a Super Motivational Speaker
Here are some simple steps which, practiced regularly, will make you a much stronger motivational speaker:
- Practice listening to yourself - get in the habit of sitting in stillness for a moment or two and observing the thoughts and images you have without judgment or analysis
- Seek first to truly understand the person or group you're in with
- Develop, and think about, specific listening goals before you interact with others
- Read the newspaper a second time, looking for funny headlines with double meanings
- Catapult your career as a motivational speaker forward by using the rest of my Fun Commandments found in my unique Fun Factor prescription
You will be amazed at what Listening Very Carefully does for your career as a motivational speaker - just please don't take all the speaking jobs! And please let me know how it goes for you.
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