Audiences With Your Words
by Burt Dubin
There you are -- standing before a new audience -- yearning
to reach each person with your ideas. How are you to do this?
Gerry Spence in his How to Argue and Win Every Time,
showed me a vision of the possible. Enter into his world with
me. Experience the methods of this master.
- -- Your words are your verbal fingerprints.
"They're the fingerprints of your personhood. The
energy in your phrases is an extraordinary mix of traits
and talents and experience that's unique. It's yours alone."
“You start by being credible. To be credible, stand psychologically
naked before your audience. Resolute authenticity, no trickery,
pure truth -- these are your credibility tools. ‘In the
course of human history, truth-telling has been designated
as the highest of virtues in every culture. This is why
the credibility that results therefrom is always so powerful.’"
Stand tall and proud. Walk like a matador. "The
way you move is your autobiography in motion."
- -- Use image-laden words:
"Words that do not create images should be discarded.
Words that have no intrinsic emotional or visual content
ought to be avoided. Words that are directed to the sterile,
intellectual head-place should be abandoned. Use simple
words that create pictures, words that generate feeling.
Tell yourself, 'If I am real, the right words will come.'"
“Prove your points with stories. "Why is the story
so powerful? It speaks in the language form of the species.
Its structure is natural. It permits you to speak easily,
openly, powerfully, from your heart zone. It provokes interest.
It is an antidote to the doldrums. A story touches us in
our tenders, in those soft, unprotected places where our
decisions are always made."
- -- The magic, the joy of preparation:
“Preparation is wading into life, languishing in it, rolling
in it, embracing it, smearing it over yourself, living it.
I say, go play. Write out your ideas. Watch new ideas come
popping out from magical depths. Learn how it feels to discover,
not only what there is to know about your ideas, but also
what there is to discover about the most uniquely interesting
person in the history of mankind -- namely, you."
“Let your words be "powered by your stories. Make
them rich with the emotional commitment of a person who
cares. Tune in to the power of the heart zone. Tell me how
it was! How it is! Make me see it! Make me feel it! Make
me understand! Make me care! If I cannot care, I cannot
make anyone else care."
- -- Action, not abstraction:
Stick with the action. Avoid the abstraction. The power
of the story is in its ability to create action and to avoid
- -- Charisma:
Charisma is energy, energy from the heart zone. Charisma
occurs when your feelings are transferred in their purest
form to the audience. Charisma is not diluted feelings.
It is not disguised. It is raw feeling. Charisma is the
passing of our pure energy, our pure passion, to the audience."
- -- Open the floodgates:
Focus on your feelings. Feel your feelings. Feel your passion
for your ideas. Feel the fervor that comes steaming up.
Feel the love that caresses. Feel the joy! Let your feelings
I recommend that -- if you choose to be a consummate speaker
-- you buy this book, How to Argue and Win Every Time.
It includes many more powerful and poignant ideas. Any bookstore
can get it for you. The publisher is St. Martin's Press, N.Y.