Speech Tip: I’d Like to Get to Know You (Let’s Have a Conversation)
Are we working on a speech together? Let’s talk. I want to get into your life. Let’s have a conversation. I want to know you. No, it isn’t just so I can vicariously live your rock ‘n’ roll life (unless you are Robert Plant, then, yeah). It is so I can learn your voice.
Otherwise, your speech will sound like anyone can deliver it, sans true strategy and impact. In short, it’ll be as exciting as the Wikipedia article on uric acid.
What helps is something to start with: how did you get involved in your job? A real conversation will ensue.
Talking to Spanky
Do you remember the 1968 Spanky and Our Gang hit? My first paid print writing job was feature story covering their lead singer, Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane. She was one of Bloomington, Illinois’ most famous residents, and a new magazine looking at the upscale side of life was going to publish it as a cover story.
I spent several hours with her on the phone over two conversations, listened to all of her music I could (pre-Spotify). I then wrote the best article I could. I’d love to show it to you, but the magazine never launched. They paid me $200, though, and so my rent was paid. I’d get published elsewhere later, but $200 wasn’t chicken feed to me then.
The generosity of Elaine with her time was well-appreciated, and, in it, I wrote a better piece. I knew the hits, but there were a couple songs that were significant then, but never last outside of the 1960s. And there were parts of my research with holes. Most importantly, I got to know her heart. The backs of albums only told me so much.
When I work with clients, I covet that time. I don’t necessarily need five hours, but I think you get the idea: Those who rush through the conversation miss out on a better speech. It might have their ideas but it won’t match their voice.
To start the conversation, give me a call.
Lyrics: Like to Get to Know You
Yes, I would like to get to know you, if I could
Like to get to know you
Finally I found, searching all around
Just was not the answer
One I thought was true
Looked a bit like you
Figured I might chance her
Hardly need to say
She went on her way
Said it was all over
Well it’s been some time
And I guess that I’m just meant to be a rover
Now I can’t promise that I’ll spend a day with you
Can’t promise that I’ll find a way with you
Can’t promise no
I can’t promise that I’ll love you
But I’d like to get to know you
Yes I would if I could
Lyrics: Stuart Scharf