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How to Be a Great Public Speaker Patricia Fripp at Toastmasters International

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How to Be a Great Public Speaker Patricia Fripp at Toastmasters International


How to Be a Great Public Speaker Patricia Fripp at Toastmasters International
Public speaking expert Patricia Fripp discusses how to speak to a young audience by telling stories to get them motivated and focused.

I look forward to the opportunity of working with you. However, even if I never do, I do suggest you get your internal speakers to watch these clips about how to put together a presentation.

First of all, who are you addressing -- 500 GAP managers. What does a GAP manager look like? They're 26 to 28 years old. What is your subject -- the program where we ask the employees to come up with ideas to save the company money? How long do you have to speak -- eight minutes? Good. Where are you on the program? He said ten forty-five, right after the coffee break. I said, well, the first think you have to do is do not say good morning. Why? Because five other people already said good morning. And your audience will forgive you anything except being boring, and if you are too predictable you will be boring. So I said, let us also look at the subtext. What is it that you're saying that you're not saying? You just got promoted. In that eight-minute speech you're going to prove if you deserve your promotion or having everyone wondering why. So I said this is what I want you to do. Walk on stage and say we are here to talk about heroes. And you know everybody laughed. And fortunately he had enough sense to wait and let them laugh. We are here to talk about heroes. In seven words he just proved this isn't another dull corporate speech. They may be sitting behind you. They may be sitting in front of you. They may be you, in the trenches GAP heroes.

I said, Ed, tell me a story about someone who actually did something that saved the company money. And he gave me a page of statistics. I said, Ed, statistics aren't sexy. Numbers are numbing. Where's the sex and violence? Where's the made for television movie? So he called the accounting department and said, what is the story behind the statistics? One little guy worked in the mailroom and one day he noticed he was sending seven FedEx packets to the same location, same day, same thing inside; the company newsletter. And he thought, I wonder how often we do this; send multiple things to the same location that aren't that important. Why don't I open them up, put them in one packet with a note to distribute the other out. Well, beyond that he walked over to the other guys and said, hey guys, just be aware. If you're sending multiple things to the same place, if they're not that important, put them in one. After all, we own stock in the GAP. We don't own stock in FedEx. That one idea saved the GAP $200,000. And I said, Ed, any time you say something, especially to a young audience, you need to answer the questions they have in their mind. So what do you do with the money? Two hundred thousand dollars is 18 miles of shelving. It's another jeans size we haven't invented. It's another month of the GAP rocks, the GAP jives, the GAP swings commercials.

That's a very simple idea. I have ideas all the time. We know that's a very simple idea. You have ideas all the time, but do you write them up, do you put them in the process so we can evaluate them? What's in it for me? And then you talk about the cash rewards and we closed with a visual of a big money and play David Bowie Heroes. Wonderful. A perfect circle. A perfect connection. Got people excited. And the thing I said, Ed, the story has to be so good that when the store managers go back to their stores and they said, well, how was the company meeting, they say we heard a great story, and they can repeat it. They can repeat it with a lot of detail, and hopefully, get the people in their stores to say, well, hey, if a kid in the shipping room and the mailroom can come up with an idea that simple, we should be able to.

My point, ladies and gentlemen, is when you tell a story simply, with enough color and detail that people can see it, it's very easy to repeat. That's what you want people to do. And I hope you have noticed in the stories I have told you that they have certain formulas.

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