What came first, the speaker or the audience

“Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking” by Editor In Chief Maryfran Johnson (CIO Magazine, 1 April 2009, CIO.com) does a handy job at helping raise your public speaking game. She’s even goes bold and gets it right when she says, “It’s not about you.”

However, we’d actually like to take that a step further and rewrite her “most important question” (mentioned in the next to the last paragraph) to “What is this particular audience going to hear when I tell the story I want to tell?” A truly effective communicator understands context and that as Frank “Words That Work” Luntz says, “It’s not what you say, but what people hear.” In other words, the story you want to tell is meaningless, it’s the story they’re going to hear that really matters.

And while we’re on this subject here’s another from CIO,  “How to Master Professional Speaking” by John Baldoni.

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