Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Requires Stamina


The fourth chapter of John Maxwell’s book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect covers the fourth prinpiple of connecting, namely, that connecting requires energy.    Each of the five sections of this chapter deals with one of the five ways in which this energy is embodied in the process of connecting.    This fifth and final section of the chapter is concerned with the fifth way, mainly that Connecting Requires Stamina … So Recharge!

1.   Combating Fear

The first emotion that you have to overcome when learning how to do public speaking is that of fear.   Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of making a mistake.   The fear never totally goes away; as the saying goes, you won’t be able to get rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but you can at least get them to fly in formation.   In other words, that fear is an emotion which has energy behind it.   You can channel that energy into constructive channels, and it can fuel your desire to prepare ahead of time in order to at least reduce the chance of your making a mistake.

2.  Introvert/Extrovert

One of the characteristics of an introvert versus an extrovert is that an introvert recharges his or her batteries in solitude, whereas the extrovert recharges his or her batteries through interaction with others.   No matter where your energy is, you will have one, either with the preparation (for extroverts) or the execution (for introverts).   In any case, you will need to recharge your batteries somehow.

3.  Recharging Batteries

How does John Maxwell suggest to do this?   Of course physical exercise is a wonderful way to expend energy in order to get it back in the form of increased metabolism, etc.    Joseph Campbell one time created a formula for what he called the creation of a “sacred space” in your life, where you can incubate creativity.   He said “follow your bliss”, meaning follow the natural direction your thoughts flow in terms of activities, interests, etc., that have you entering a “flow state”, where the passage of time becomes meaningless because you are lost in the moment.

For example, I have a passion for foreign languages.   No matter how busy my day is, I make it a point to use my language learning app called Duolingo and I study one skill in each of five languages–Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.   This takes about one half hour in total, and doing a little bit each day keeps me progressing in my language skills at a steady pace that is better than trying to study a lot once every week.   But when I come out of the language learning, my brain is energized, not depleted.

4.  Energy = Intensity, not Volume

In the space itself, you should make sure you use energy to get your point across, but don’t confuse energy with volume.    Energy means intensity, but that can includes silences and pauses, and in fact, the powerful words of your speech will be made even MORE powerful by their being bracketed by silence.    This is a well-known trick in movies that if there is an explosion, sometimes the soundtrack has a moment of silence beforehand that makes the sound of the explosion louder by comparison and has more emotional impact for the audience.

The whole purpose of the energy is so that the audience is engaged, catches the energy, and at the end of the speech, they applaud which is a way of passing the energy back to you.    Accept their gift with gratitude!

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