I was amazed on Sunday watching how well the Miami Dolphins played against Tennessee, even though I confess to not usually being much of a football fan. The Dolphins actually ran the ball and scored multiple times! The energy they demonstrated had been painfully missing for a long time.
In the debriefing, the new head coach Dan Campbell said that his request was simply for the team to get three or four yards every time they had the ball. They did that and more.
My take away from Coach Campbell’s advice, applied to your leadership speaking, is to learn to divide your tasks into do-able pieces – and then run with each to victory!
For example, let’s say you have an important upcoming presentation to your team, or to a client – whether at the office or for the nonprofit you serve. Or you’ve been asked to speak to a civic or a trade group. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, what to eliminate, and how to put all the elements together, can’t it?
I always advise you to begin with the end in mind. When you have finished delivering your message, what do you want to happen? Are you trying to get buy-in for your idea, make a sale, secure a donation or a sign up a volunteer? Write down your call for action.
In the football arena, my understanding is that each play is supposed to lead towards a touchdown or points scored by kicking a field goal. In leadership speaking, each line of your content needs to be guiding us, your listeners, to your goal for the conversation. If the story, fact, or example doesn’t help take us there, leave it out.
Unlike sports, we speakers and leaders often have to be our own coach, coming up with the game plan over and over again for the different challenges in our world. We even need to be prepared to speak with wisdom and compassion, without advanced notice!
Circling back to the Dolphins’ recent victory, you can be ready for any leadership speaking opportunity by always keeping your end goal in mind. Identify what content will fit into motivational segments that will drive your points home – and enjoy the results!