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Thursday, September 15, 2011


If you want to speak with depth, you need to prepare with depth.

Shallow speaking doesn't connect with people. We've all heard it before. It's the same story again. The classical rhetorical teachers said that you need logos, ethos and pathos. It's the pathos that's often missing when people speak. The passion and emotion that provide depth to the message.

You should be emotionally drained after speaking. You should also be emotionally drained after preparing to speak. Prepare with the emotions that you want to share. If you're speaking about love, prepare love. Tell stories about love. Show pictures of love. Feel love. Your message will connect with people if the emotions they feel from you match the words you're saying.

As I write and prepare, I imagine myself in the message. I align my thoughts so that I'm feeling the point rather than just explaining it. Then, when I speak, the emotions come through. The pathos is evident and shared. What the ancients didn't know when they were developing the theory of rhetoric is that humans have mirror neurons in our brains. If you see me smiling, your brain causes you to experience a smile. Most of the time you'll smile along with me. This is true of all the emotions. If you have a sad message, the sorrow needs to be written on your face so your audience can connect to the pathos of what you're saying.

How do you create depth when you speak?

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