Warm Your Audience With A Fireside Chat

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you more personally connect with your followers. Reading time: 3:22.

        Your love affair with a camera lens is evident. You can handle a Teleprompter with the best of them. And now your role as Speaker in Chief seems even more comfortable, even more confident, even more commanding.

       Well hold on there, Corporate Breath: Yes you Podium King.  And you too Public Speaking Queen. Beware!

        a fireplace-

     The most effective public speakers know they need to do much more than light the proverbial fire under their audiences.

      The most effective public speakers need to  FIRST  light up their audiences with a fire of ideas that draws the audience closer and closer to the speaker. They need to FIRST cast a verbal security blanket that first warms and comforts their audience to better process the cold truth.

     That’s why the most effective public speakers need to FIRST feed that fire logs soaked in caring and concern,  feeling and humanity, empathy and personality. Indeed, the most convincing leaders on the podium need to FIRST fan the flames of that fire to dry away the tears and burn away fears of their audience.

     That’s what Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) in building a fireplace every time the president of the United States delivered his public radio addresses to the American people. He spoke so personally and so poignantly that the media dubbed his radio addresses Fireside Chats.

       a fireplace1

FDR delivers Fireside Chat

FDR delivers Fireside Chat

          Thirty times from 1933 to 1944, through the Great Depression and through World War II, FDR would light his fireplace with a folksy homespun salutation:  “My friends.”

       Historians tell us that Americans listening to their radios sensed that the leader of the free world had walked into their living rooms.

       FDR seemed to sit down on the sofa in each person’s living room; toss another verbal log on the fire to brighten up the room and shed light on some very complicated issues of the day, sharing his thoughts with his audience rather than telling them. FDR spoke to millions.  PERSONALLY.

        His words seemed like so many compact presses on an open wound: soothing, salving and breathing life into a suffocating nation. PERSONALLY.

         The most effective leaders know that public speaking is a misnomer. All speaking in public or otherwise is always first and foremost PERSONAL. One to one. PERSONALLY.

        Consider how personally Roosevelt spoke to his audience in his mind’s eye in his  fireside chat on December 29  in 1940  when he recalled how he thought of his audience in 1933 in a time of financial panic and bank runs during his very first Fireside Chat:

I saw the workmen in the mills, the mines, the factories;
the girl behind the counter; the small shopkeeper;
the farmer doing his spring plowing;
the widows and the old men wondering about their life’s savings.
I tried to convey to the great mass of American people what the banking crisis meant to them in their daily lives.

So the next time you step up the podium or make love to that camera lens throw another log on your personal fire and host a fireside chat. PERSONALLY.

Today’s ImproveMINT

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