When I leave my house and drive down my street, I almost always turn right on the main boulevard. Occasionally, I need to turn left. I drive down my street planning to turn left, with my thoughts consumed with activities other than driving, I automatically turn right.
I know in that I am as successful in life as I am in the present, doing what I need to do efficiently and effectively. Those actions that I do repeatedly, over and over, are easy to put in an automatic unthinking mode.
I watch many people do this with their speaking.
They rehearse their speech over and over and lay-down an automatic recording of their speech in their mind. Then when they get in front of an audience they play their recording, just like they practiced. But they are not talking to the audience!
This violates the essence of live communication.
When we speak we not only need to say what we intend to say, we need to remember that we are a live human being talking to another live human being.
Our communication needs to be live!
Recently, I was delivering some sales consulting to a group real estate agents. One of the agents originated that she had practiced her sales pitch and she had it down perfectly. It took 7 minutes and her clients never had any questions after she gave it. But she also wasn't closing any contracts or selling any houses.
I asked her to give me her sales pitch. She immediately rattled off 7 minutes of memorized monologue, like a telemarketer reading a script to anyone who answered the phone. I admit, I didn't have any questions when she was done. I also didn't have any interest in talking to her. For then last 7 minutes she had not been talking to me.
The human components of communication include caring about the person or persons we are speaking to and being interested in them as a person. This gets missed in a lot of public speaking and sales training.
The elements of caring and interest are more important to effective communication than saying the exact right words. We communicate to living, breathing, feeling. emotional people.
One of the most difficult skills I had to learn to master was that of taking my speaking, and sales pitches, off of automatic. I had to learn to be able to say something I had said 100 times before and say with the care and interest like it was the first time I had said it.
Be sure to take your communication off of automatic. Otherwise, you might turn right when you wanted to turn left!
To subscribe to Lance's free newsletter, please visit http://www.lancemillerspeaks.com