Making Dreams Come True for Comics and Speakers since 1984
  Judy Carter's Comedy Workshops  

The Heart of a Good Speech

I just completed the second week of my corporate speaking workshop.  This is my first time teaching a 7-week workshop that ends in a showcase I call, “A Night of Kick Butt Inspiration.”

Right now, my students are focused on finding their ideal topic to speak about (their “core premise”).

To help them, I came up with this formula:

“You know how people have trouble with insert problem?  Well, I’m going to show you how you can insert solution.”

I was pretty excited with the results, because the students who’ve completed this exercise all came up with fairly solid premises on which to build a speech.  But what was even more exciting for all of us was the NEXT exercise - because it did more than just help them use their head to come up with a topic.  It opened up their hearts -- and they discovered why they have a burning desire to share their stories.

The question to start the exercise was:

“When in your life were you at a place when you were so down that you really needed inspiration?”

After a little time to ponder, everybody started talking about those certain moments in their lives: the day they got fired, when they were bullied, the time when they were too broke to buy food -- and other things way too personal too mention in a public blog.

When each student revealed that most trying time -- it became obvious that how they dealt with it was their most authentic premise - because it came from the heart.  

To build on those insights, I told each person in the class to imagine a specific person, maybe someone going through the same difficulties - or worse -- who really needed to hear their message in the audience.  This person could be a parent, a boss, or for many, even a younger version of themselves.  

Something about the realization of how what they had to share could change the life of someone close - or could have changed their own life - made material start to flow freely -- along with tears.

And that’s where I learned something.  We speakers find that we speak most effectively -- about what we need to learn ourselves.

-Judy Carter

Author of The Comedy Bible, Motivational-Humorist, and Comedy Coach  


mj said...

It's funny you should say that. Over the last six years researching for answers and teaching myself about spirituality and universal laws, I came across a very interesting quote, (can't remember who said it), "we teach what we need to learn"

colestuart said...

You're a wonderful teacher. What would it be like withouth the word "I"?

Best always.


My name is Lance said...

Just yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine about why I have made an effort to reach out to her husband as a friend. He is a middle aged guy who just lost his job. Having been in that boat myself I shared with her that I am very familiar with the pitfalls of spending too much time by yourself under those circumstances .I wanted to reach out to him the way I would have liked someone to reach out to. As I spoke I could feel my passion rise because I believe sometimes as Joe Cocker said, " We get by with a little help from our friends." Lance

Justin Kuvich said...

Thank you for sharing this, Judy. It reminded me of a piece I thought up not too long ago that I may try at an open mic soon.