September 16, 2011 fm

How Can You Passionize Your Speech?

For 3,013 days I worked for KPMG, a global professional services firm, first in Germany, then in Spain. During my time in Spain I had various opportunities to present the company. The challenge for me was that KPMG, one of the Big 4, is quite a conservative turf to plant commercial seed. It makes me shiver even to think about these bullet points of its organizational structure:

  • 100 partners
  • 500 managers
  • 1400 staff

I just couldn’t present that slide in a “normal” way to audiences like MBA students. What I did was I passionized that part and presented the same content in a far more exciting way based on a single metaphor:

“For twenty years I’ve been playing soccer. Since the day I entered KPMG, I always thought this organization was like a soccer team. There’s the goalie — nobody really pays attention to him, everyone takes him for granted, but when he’s needed, everyone expects him to be there and be ready. That’s the administration. There’s the defense — technically it’s not so advanced; they try their best to improve, they practice a lot, and get paid less than anyone else. That’s the staff. There’s the midfield — they run more than anybody else; they have to help the defense, plus make passes to the strikers, and sometimes they have to score a goal themselves. Poor guys — they’re the managers. And the strikers? They have the most fame, the most money. You may not even see them for 89 minutes, but when the decisive moment comes, there they are, with the knowledge, experience, and instinct to score the important goals. Clearly, that’s the partners.” [from The Seven Minute Star – become a great speaker in 15 simple steps]

Exactly the same information, but in a much more passionate way!
You too can passionize your speeches. Just use your passions and hobbies in life and build metaphoric bridges to your speech content. You will find a great variety of metaphoric bridges leading right into the heart of business jargon:

Chess: vision, planning, strategy

Children: growth, motivation, lifelong learning

Cooking: vision, patience, creativity, innovation

Cycling: perseverance, extra mile, training

Fishing: promotion, patience, market analysis

Friends: trust, reliability, “client” orientation

Marathon: perseverance, milestones, strategic focus

Mountain climbing: risk taking, goal setting, teamwork

Piano: multitasking, versatility

Soccer: team player, training, tactics

What are your passions and hobbies in life?

How can you build metaphoric bridges to your monthly business unit results presentation?

How will you passionize your speech?

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