To Get Your Point Across

Ink on Watercolor scrap – Words: English Proverb

I sat in a room with someone who was shouting, very loud and working very hard to make their point stick. They dominated the conversation for twenty minutes, thinking that is they just talked longer and louder than anyone else their argument would be supported. I then watched a quiet person talk next, use short, concise sentences, spoke softly and succinctly and end leaving us wanting more. Needless to say each person had no idea how their method of speaking impacted the room.

Use soft words…what a great reminder. Things do not get accomplished by speaking loud, long and forcefully. Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address after another politician spoked for two hours. The Gettysburg Address takes around three minutes to recite. Lincoln’s words were published all over the world, and that speech has become an iconic message for hundred of years. No one quoted the previous speaker, in fact rarely is that politician mentioned when talking about that day.

Hard Arguments…does not mean that you have to use hard, loud, forceful language or speaking techniques. Mahatma Ghandi made his point by sitting down and being quiet. People would shout all around him, he always spoke calmly and concisely. Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on the bus one day, not because she was making a huge, loud, forceful political statement. She did not give up her seat to a white person that day because when she was interviewed later, she said her feet hurt and she just didn’t have the energy to move. Hard points do not require force, passion or even shouting. Sometimes calm is the best choice.

There may be a point you need to make, shouting, screaming, loud, long forceful presentations in grand rooms may not be the best way to get your message across. Silence is the most powerful tool in our arsenal. Soft words help the message go down easier…try using both next time to get your point across.

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