Category Archives: how to create Trust

Oprah Winfrey’s Speech Analysis

Oprah Winfrey’s riveting speech at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2018 has been analysed by my colleague from the National Speakers Association in the US, Sam Horn. Sam is one of the most creative people I know, author of Tongue Fu and many other works. (See her bio below)

With Sam’s permission, here is her analysis, including links to the speech:

Was the acceptance speech Oprah Winfrey gave at the Golden Globes the BEST 9 minute speech … ever?

Here are my thoughts on why her talk was so masterful and meaningful. I’d love to hear what you think.

1. She showed up to serve. She was there to inspire, not to impress. This was about creating a rising tide raising all involved, not about self-aggrandizement.

2. She spoke naturally and without notes. Oprah invested the effort to memorize her talk so she could connect with her audience and speak from the heart instead of being “in her head” reading a transcript (verbatim) from a teleprompter. This freed her up to be “in the moment” and “in flow” so she could fully focus on giving the speech of a lifetime, the speech she was born to give.

3. Her content was superbly crafted and condensed. I can only imagine the weeks of preparation that went into distilling this message into an “every word matters” momentum that swept us up in its elegance and eloquence. Imagine all the things she wanted to say yet disciplined herselt to edit out.

4. There was no embellishing, no grand-standing. No try-too-hard language that rang false or self-conscious mannerisms that detracted from the message.

5. It had a reveal. Original talks delight us because they introduce something new and meaningful we weren’t aware of before. When Oprah revealed that the investigator assigned to Recy Taylor’s case was none other than … (wait for it) … Rosa Parks, there was an audible “I didn’t know that” gasp from the audience.

6. She started with WHERE. Oprah’s first words were, “In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: ‘The winner is Sidney Poitier.’ Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black—and he was being celebrated. I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But … ”

By putting us in the scene of WHERE she was and what it was like watching a black man receive an award, we understood the significance of her (the first black woman) receiving this award. It fleshed out what an incredible full circle Hero Journey story this is. She put us THERE by jumping right into her WHERE.

7. The truth is in the details. Oprah’s specificity of visual details not only helped us see what she was saying, it caused us to conclude she was telling the truth. We don’t believe vague stories. We wonder if the speaker is making them up, and if the speaker is making this up, what else are they making up?

Mark Twain talked about the importance of carefully chosen words: the difference between lightning and lightning bug. She didn’t just watch Sidney Poitier receive his award, she was sitting on the linoleum floor while she did. That one word linoleum made this story real and relatable and viscerally engaged us because we were picturing the linoleum floor of our childhood.

8. She linked historical and current events. She referenced the true story of Recy Taylor to show that brutality has been happening for decades, and then segued into what’s happening now with Recy serving as a metaphor for all people (past and present) who have suffered abuse and have not been heard, seen, recognized or respected.

9. She didn’t call people OUT, she called them UP. Instead of throwing people under the bus and making this about race or gender, (which would only have created further polarizing divisiveness), Oprah’s goal was to bring people together and galvanize us to move forward in cooperation, not conflict.

10. It featured repeatable, retweetable sound-bites and memorable memes that will take her talk viral. Her enduring one-liners “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” “Their time is up. Their time is up.” “A new day is on the horizon.” ensure that her message will be shared on social media platforms which means it will reach even more people globally and will remain top-of-mind for a long time. And isn’t that what we want?

11. It was inclusive. She spoke of “phenomenal men who choose to listen” so this was not male-bashing. She expanded the scope of her intended audience by naming diverse industries which increased relevance and the likelihood that people from all walks of life would feel she was talking to them.

She said, “It’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers.They are working in factories, in restaurants, in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and our soldiers in the military.”

12. She created an emotional crescendo. Just as a symphony increases intensity to lead to a dramatic finale, Oprah ramped up her energy and vocal volume towards the end. Yet it didn’t feel artificial, it felt authentic. Whatever we want our audience to feel, we’ve got to feel first. If we want people to care passionately and feel empowered, we’ve got to model that by speaking with passion and power. We must launch the emotional bandwagon we want people to jump on in the final minute of our talk.

13. It ended on a note of hope.

She closed with, “I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”

The best talks have book-ends, call-backs and continuity. They repeat and refer back to what was said in the beginning to create a satisfying full-circle experience. Oprah used the words she wanted us to remember and act on in her send-off. She wanted us to believe it’s possible to feel hope when dealing with ugliness, to see a new day in the midst of darkness. So, instead of being subtle about that, she used and imprinted the exact “rally cry” words she wants us to carry forward.

In doing all the above, she delivered what I believe will become this century’s version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech

What were your take-aways from Oprah’s speech? How did it impact you – as a person – as a leader – as a speaker?

My take-away is that EVERY speaking opportunity matters. There’s no such thing as a throw-away talk. If we’re receiving an award, participating on a panel, presenting a keynote or giving a report at a staff, board or annual meeting; we have a responsibility to honor the occasion and say something that matters.

We CAN make an enduring difference (even in a few minutes) if we invest the time and effort to craft a meaningful message – and if we put our mind to it.

The @YouTube clip of Oprah’s speech is at this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8

About Sam Horn

Sam Horn, CEO of Intrigue Agency, helps people create quality books, businesses, presentation that add value for all involved. Her books – POP!, Tongue Fu! and Got Your Attention – have been featured in New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company and presented to Boeing, Capital One, Intel, Cisco and National Geographic. For more articles and to watch her TEDx talk – visit www.SamHorn.com

Thanks so much Sam!

Please add your comments below.

 

Top Ten Tips for Improving Your Relationships in 2018

I spent the holidays with my family and therefore had the opportunity once again, to think about relationships and how I contribute to what happens, what goes right and what slips off the rails.
As I began to think about 2018, I have asked myself: “How could I be a better person this year?”

And this list is just what I need!
Thanks to Stephanie Staples, David Gouthro, my brothers, children, and grand-children for your inspiration!

Please take a look and write a comment about what you think and what’s on your list.

  1. Look at beautiful nature around you, and notice how it makes you feel. Research shows this will lower your stress level and make you feel good. And when you feel good, you make your relationships better.
  1. Imagine how you want your key relationships to improve this year. See an image in your mind’s eye of being with each person you care about, listening to each other, being open to each other, laughing and sharing fun activities together. Find examples in the past of when you already were just like you want to be now with them.
  1. Create an anchor (association) for each key relationship, when you see how you want to be with them in your mind’s eye (from 9. above), to recall this image and the feeling it gives you. You can sigh in a wistful way, touch a finger, smile, and feel the smile on your face, or just picture the person and you.
  1. Think about who you need to forgive, and forgive them fully for whatever happened. A new year is a great time to start with a clean slate, and a re-opened heart.
  1. Think about to whom you need to ask for forgiveness; apologize, ask forgiveness, and make amends. There are probably some people, with whom you have been inpatient, dismissive, irritable, cranky, unfair, angry etc. Start with a clean slate by reconnecting, taking responsibility, apologizing and do something meaningful to them to make amends.
  1. Tell and show your favourite people why you appreciate them. Make it short and sweet and true (of course.) Why are you grateful that they are in your life?
  1. Tell and show someone who needs a boost what you respect, appreciate, and love about them. Your words can make a huge difference.
  1. When someone annoys you, breathe deeply, touch your anchor and remember what you appreciate about them. It makes it easier to listen and find out what is happening for them.
  1. If someone is aggressive with you, breathe deeply, touch your anchor, looked concerned and say tell me more! Be in a curious state and seek to understand their point of view. When you delay reacting, and go for understanding their point of view, you are more likely to get their point, even if you don’t share it!
  1. Speak your truth, be kind and helpful. The people you care about will eventually thank you for your candour!

1.a Open your heart and be full with inner strength. Relationships aren’t as difficult as they seem and they are so much more rewarding that we ever thought.

Top Ten Mistakes Women Make with Their Partners

And how you can avoid them in your relationship!

Here they are:

  1. Believing their partner thinks like they do even when they know that’s not true.
  2. Thinking their partner can pick up hints — they can’t.
  3. Being convinced that their partner knows what they want.
  4. Allowing discomfort or some other reason to stop them from talking to their partner about what is is important to them.
  5. Swallowing disappointment, frustration and annoyance till the negative emotion bursts out into resentful yelling.
  6. Telling their partner what to do and expecting that they will do it.
  7. Nagging their partner repeatedly when the partner hasn’t done the “honey-do” list.
  8. Feeling frustrated and powerless because their partner won’t do what they told them to do.
  9. Not considering alternative ways to communicate when the above strategies don’t work.
  10. Resigning themselves to having a mediocre or poor relationship.

How many of these have you caught yourself doing?
This doesn’t have to continue! I have created an iPhone app just for you!
Check out this short video to see how the app works.

It is one of 3 helpful videos in my HusbandMotivator™ IPhone app.
If you want to know exactly how to talk to your partner (whether your partner is a man or a woman);
what to say & do and more importantly what not to say or do,
please check it out in the app store: Look for HusbandMotivator(tm)
This loaded app lets you:

Pick a specific kind of situation, (and you can use it over and over for different situations!)
Helps you identify your partner’s key Motivation Triggers in that situation
Teaches you the 4 Step Motivating Method
Gives you a summary script to get your message across, and
You can email yourself the script so it’s handy when you need it!

And if you are thinking: “What about a WifeMotivator app?”,
don’t worry, you can use HusbandMotivator(tm) with anyone,
including the most difficult people in your life.

Check it out for yourself in the app store and
see how you can improve your communication about:
Activities
Chores/Tasks
Family
Health
Money/Finance
Relationship/Intimacy
Work/Career

I’d love your feedback on the app! Please tell me what you think.
Cheers,
Shelle

The Motivation Triggers Behind the Scottish Referendum

On Sept 18, 2014, 85% of the Scots got off their duff, and went out to vote in a referendum on the future of their country. They had different desires, fears, unknowns to face, promises to evaluate, and over 300 years of history with Britain behind them.

Wouldn’t be interesting to look behind the positions, the emotions, etc to uncover the LAB Profile Triggers driving each side? This kind of analysis is useful to understand some of the forces driving political, social and military movements around the world.

The Yes Side used a combination:

First moving Away From the inequalities and lack of autonomy over the past. Then moving Toward the aspirations of an independent Scotland. They end with Difference and Options language to talk about the new opportunities of an independent Scotland, including oil revenues etc.

And of course, painting the pictures so that people can See compelling images.

This order is important to create movement. People who are dissatisfied have lots of emotion and energy; they are angry about the injustices they experience and want to move away from these. This is the bus stop where you can pick up them up, using Away From language: don’t want, never again, problems of the past, unacceptable, etc.

This is Push Power: Using words and images that help push people away from the things they believe are unacceptable. Here is an example where a celebrity commentator starts with a positive example to set up the Away From critique of the current UK status.

“Swedes, Norwegians and Danes remain on amicable terms; they trade, co-operate and visit each other socially any time they like. They don’t need a pompous, blustering state called Scandinavia, informing them from Stockholm how wonderful they all are, but (kind of) only really meaning Sweden.” – novelist Irvine Welsh.

If you only use Away From language several issues arise which can prevent this momentum from gaining traction. At some point people will be asking about the alternatives to the past, something to rally behind and move toward. When politicians use only Away From language, as in attack ads, they have no control over what viewers move away from. Often they just don’t vote as a result of the very negativity of attack strategies.

Following Away From words and images with Towards helps people see a desired destination. This is attractive and reassuring and creates Pull Power, pulling people to the outcome. Here is an example of both Pull and Push Power, combining Toward language while reminding people of the negative past in Away From language:

“Scotland’s Future is an exciting, informative and insightful vision of what an independent Scotland will be, without the controls, mistakes and unwanted one-size-fits-all policies of Westminster governments.” – Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland.

And of course the Yes campaign is all about selling change (Difference) and possibilities (Options). Check this Yes ad out; even the visual design is filled with Options.

Yes

Their campaign and the polls before the actual vote were convincing enough to panic all three British political parties into making last minute offerings that had never before been put on the table.

The No Campaign

The No Campaign had a different approach to ensure the votes of people who had already decided for No and more importantly to convince the undecided.

Even though their primary slogan was “Better Together”, they used Away From language fairly consistently throughout the campaign, coupled with Sameness and Difference in combinations.

Away From and Difference: for people who are afraid of change and unknowns. “Why would you take a chance with no guarantees and risk your pension?” This is from a video ad from the “Better Together” campaign:

 “I will not be gambling with my children’s future.”

This is from the controversial ad showing a Mum thinking about the referendum.

And of course appealing to people who want things to stay the same; the Sameness Pattern. Here’s an ad that shows all these patterns:

No thanks

The No Campaign also encouraged people to be External (needing outside guidance), by having economists and other authorities clearly state the dangers of independence.

The Scottish people will take a “massive risk” with their economic future if they vote for independence, former chancellor, and leader of the No campaign, Alistair Darling has warned.

In an interview with the Observer, Darling says that if the Scots vote to leave the 300-year-old union and then keep sterling, adopt their own currency, or join the euro, the country will be plunged into unparalleled economic uncertainty.

“The downsides are immense, the risks are amazing, the uncertainties I just don’t think are worth gambling on, Darling said.”There are times when you should gamble and there are times when you shouldn’t.”*

*From The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jan/14/scottish-independence-alistair-darling

We know the end of the story: 55.3% No, 44.7% Yes. This tells us that moving Away From the risks and uncertainties was more popular, but only by a little over 10%.

And perhaps there will be change after all, if the British politicians keep their last minute promises for more devolution of powers.

I was so impressed with the civility of this campaign! An inspiration to dysfunctional democracies everywhere.