We are thrilled to have Jimmy Dunne share his public speaking story and insights via Slideshop Stories.
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It seems most life skills in everything under the sun is rooted back to our ‘wonder years’ of grade school, high school and college days.
My residency for learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of public speaking was sitting in mass every Sunday of my life as a Catholic kid — in a big Irish family in the fabulous Maple tree-blanketed suburbs of Chicago.
1. Do everything you can to get out from behind the ‘pulpit.’ The only thing I saw sitting in a pew was a priest’s head sticking out above a big thick pulpit.
Think of Broadway performers. Do you think they’d perform behind a pulpit? Let them see you. Love you. Feel you. Be in communion with you.
2. Have one story. Most priests never got this memo – they usually had an approach of ‘more is better.’
Always fun on a hot, humid summer Sunday morning in our non-air-conditioned church. Tell one story. One fabulous idea. And emotionally sell the hell out of it.
3. Speak conversationally. As a kid, priests spoke Latin in mass; as an altar boy, I memorized a bunch of long prayers in Latin. I never have a clue what any of it meant. That’s a good time.
A new pope came along and ixnayed the Latin. Told the priests to turn around and face the congregation. Game-changer.
Look in the eyes of your audience. Connect with them. Speak conversationally. “Small words, big ideas.”
4. A great thing I learned from mass was the value of gift-giving. You must, must give a gift… a party-favor, when you speak. That’s why they’re listening. They want a present.
In the church, their party-favor was that you’d probably go to heaven for just being there. Eternal-life; that’s a good gift. They gave you another party-favor when you left; holy water. Put a little on – and you’d be blessed from God above. Now we’re talking.
What’s your gift? What fantastic words of wisdom are you sharing? How are you moving them in a way that will inspire them forever?
5. Most importantly, they taught me what ‘religion’ is. Their religion was that Jesus was the son of God, saved all of us, and you better be good if you want to get into heaven. Every single sermon, every statue, every song, every outfit, every everything – was on-brand and on-story to that religion. Their singular, core belief and message.
What’s yours? What is your religion? Your extraordinary message that permeates everything you do – and is going to change the world.
See you in church.
About the Author
Jimmy Dunne is a thought-leader in the exploding world of activating music and entertainment to emotionally brand corporations, universities, and leading national retail franchises in America — experientially branding smart companies including Whole Foods Market, Visa, MS Society, Caruso, UPS, SMU University, CBRE, World Cup, StorageTek, Amgen, UC Merced University, and many, many more.
As a hit songwriter, Jimmy has landed #1 hits across Pop, Country, R&B and Adult Contemporary charts — with songs recorded on 28, 000, 000 records around the globe.
Head to Inspire Entertainment and learn how he can make your brand sing.