Push: It’s Not The Only Option

When communicating something important, be it one-to-one or one-to-many, it’s important to emphasize key ideas to influence and drive action. But it’s also important to remember that pushing out the key words with force is only one way – and not always the best. The hammer is only one tool in our metaphoric toolkit to give those important ideas their impact.

When we speak naturally in conversation with our friends and family, most of us employ a broad range of vocal variations to give color and impact to what we say. In fact, it’s when those variations are absent in a person’s speech that we feel something isn’t quite right. At best, the content comes across as canned, robotic, or otherwise unnatural. At worst, the person speaking can seem off, untrustworthy or even unlikeable. It is often in the planning or rehearsing what we want to say that these nuances are stripped away (causing some to skip out on planning and rehearsing – a big mistake!). Planning and rehearsing are essential to successful presenting, so what do we do? It’s a Catch-22! (Not really)

The missing piece is an effective strategy for authentic, influential communication. How we prepare and how we practice makes all the difference and it is in that process that my clients and I actively re-introduce the essential speaking qualities that lead to effective communications and influential presentations and pitches. Sometimes, we may want to draw someone in, rather than blow their hair back. So, yes, emphasizing a point here and there with a well-placed hammer blow can be effective. But jackhammers are annoying under all circumstances.


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