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How To Invest In Your Speech: Raise Your Interest Rate

For a powerful, referable speech, increase your rate of interest in the world around you.

4
minute read
Published on
January 23, 2024
HEROIC student Laura Fravel inquires at CORE | The Breakthrough Experience about crafting a memorable speech.

Around the world, businesses and consumers spent the year waiting for a recession that never really showed up. Miraculously, we seemed to avoid financial catastrophe and as a result, we’ll probably see interest rates reverse their trend and start to come down.

As speakers, we should do the opposite.

For an impactful and referable speech, increase your rate of interest in the world around you.

See, here’s how it usually goes: You nail a topic. You write, create, rehearse, and perform your speech. You become an expert in a certain thing, delivered in a certain way, with certain language, particular examples, and specific research. You do it over and over and become the corporate version of an actor in a 200-show run as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, except your “Music of the Night” is a powerpoint deck with self-quotes and sporadic data points.


Some speakers get so close to their content that they’re blind to the world around them. They want to be a thought leader but they fail to actually lead their thoughts in new directions. They’re just not interested or curious about going beyond their self-imposed topic boundaries.


Maybe it’s because my life in comedy trained me to look for meaning in random things or maybe it’s because I am easily distracted. But my greatest mental leaps and aha! moments have never come from reading new research or studying new business cases about the things I’m supposedly an expert in. They’ve come from looking beyond those references.


My aha! moment about the Great Resignation didn’t come from workplace engagement stats. It came from Bo Burnham’s comedy special Inside. My thoughts on disruption weren’t informed from the often-used Blockbuster vs. Netflix case study. They were informed by the lyrics from Gil Scott-Heron’s song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” My insights about personal efficiency didn’t come from a Fortune magazine article on what successful people do before 6am. They came from studying automotive assembly lines. And when I was at my absolute lowest point in March of 2020, I didn’t articulate the actions people needed to take by looking at what Zoom was doing. I explored what professional race car drivers do when they are forced to slow down entering a corner. It turns out they gain control and accelerate in the middle of the curve. That was precisely what business leaders needed to do. But I wouldn’t have discovered that if I’d been reading what everyone else was reading.


Exploring indirect examples won’t just keep you interested in your content.

  1. It will provide additional ideas about novel approaches and solutions to the problems your audience faces.
  2. It will make the presentation of those ideas more unique and own-able.
  3. It will connect an important business issue that people have to think about to something that they want to think about. As an audience member who has to listen to 10 speakers in a row, what’s more interesting - a unique story about Michael Schumacher’s approach to winning a race in Monaco or a rehashing of the same HBR article being actively shared on LinkedIn?

In my business, there’s nothing more powerful than someone thinking, “I’ve never seen that before.” I’d argue that it’s the same in yours. Your audience knows that Uber changed transportation, Airbnb changed hospitality, and Amazon changed retail. They know what Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, and Warren Buffett did. And if they have to hear that Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” one more time, they’re going to scream exactly how they feel.

Full Transcript

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Don't
Be a speaker that is blind to the world around them.
Do
Be a more interesting speaker by looking up and around at the interesting world out there.

If you want to be interesting as a speaker, you have to be interested as a human. So this year, look up. Look around. It’s a really interesting world out there.

Don't
Do
Don't
Do
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

And that line didn’t come from Stephen Covey, Elon Musk, or Simon Sinek’s latest book.  

It came from Ferris Bueller.  
Interesting, huh?

- Ron Tite is a speaker, author, and the founder and chief creative officer of Church+State.

Don't
Do
Don't
Do
Learn more about building a sustainable speaking career.

HEROIC

Speakers

Interested in the business side of speaking? Learn how to win gigs, more often, at higher fees in our 12-week program, GRAD | Speaking Business Mastery.
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Don't
Do

If you want to be interesting as a speaker, you have to be interested as a human. So this year, look up. Look around. It’s a really interesting world out there.

Dont
Do
Don't
Do
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
,

And that line didn’t come from Stephen Covey, Elon Musk, or Simon Sinek’s latest book.  

It came from Ferris Bueller.  
Interesting, huh?

- Ron Tite is a speaker, author, and the founder and chief creative officer of Church+State.

Don't
Do
Don't
Do
Learn from
Ron

HEROIC

Speakers

Learn how to give speeches that transform how people think and perceive the world. We’ll teach you how to write, perform, and get booked.
Learn more
Dont
Do
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