I was hanging out with Harry at the gym this morning when we got to talking about how he’s been spending a lot of time in meetings during the last couple of days. He was talking about how “meetings” are never what people are excited to go to, but these have been super productive and has him feeling good about laying out the foundation for next year already.
That was when I brought up the fact that Alex, my ex-husband, happens to be incredible at running meetings. He’s just a great public speaker, he starts them on time and lays out the focus and tone right off the bat without you even realizing it, and he keeps a pace that allows people to be able to follow along but get everything accomplished that you wanted to…and, more. There’s no wasted time, no dozing off, and everyone walks away feeling like they know what their role is in the plan.
I saw the same sort of thing with a lot of flow masters in CrossFit Level 1 Seminars when I used to work on staff. There were just certain coaches that had a very good way of grabbing the attention of their audience while striking that very delicate balance of making them laugh a lot, but also be hanging onto their every word because they were being delivered such information-rich material in a way that everyone understood it…and, trusted it.
I take Ben’s 8:30 class every morning, and that’s another place I see this whole dynamic. He makes class so fun with his ridiculous dances, his self-deprication (NOT to be confused with ‘self-defecation‘), and his drop-dead looks…but, he also has a way of being so believable in his delivery of coaching and information that you’d, basically, do anything he tells you to do.
And, I don’t think this sort of skill is limited to speaking to larger groups of people. I think there are people that have a way of talking to other people all the time that makes them the sort of people that you are eager to listen to and follow in any way that they can.
It’s not sneaky, or even intentional all of the time. But, it is powerful and something worth seeking out, studying, and getting good at yourself. It’s, actually, a lot harder than these sorts of people make it look. There’s so much to think about: the timeline, how you use your voice, the important points you’re trying to make, how fast/slow you’re talking, your body language, etc.
And, God forbid someone’s phone goes off in the middle of all of it and throws you off your “plan”.