Seasoned Speech - Get The Response You Want

One well-meaning lady was trying to advise her colleague to improve on something. She criticized her loudly at the office without trying to listen first. The results? Tension and bad vibes.

Have you ever been frustrated with conversations that seemed to get nowhere? Or ever wondered how to get people to listen to and accept your ideas, advice or suggestions?

How do you get the response you want and get people to do your biddings?

By knowing exactly what motivates them, and phrase your speech in such a way that they WANT to listen to you! {This, incidentally, is what marketing is all about too. ;) }

But different folks, different strokes. You'll have to speak differently to different people in order to get the same response you want. Ok, story time ...

When the Titantic was sinking and there were few lifeboats available, the captain had to think of ingenious ways to get able-bodied men to volunteer to jump overboard. Quickly, he scanned the ship and saw men from different countries.

Being a man of seasoned speech and great wisdom, he persuaded, "Guys, we have limited number of lifeboats and I suggest that we reserve them for the ladies, the old and the frail. Will good and gracious gentlemen volunteer to jump overboard, please?" What happened next? All the dignified British gentlemen jumped into the sea.

Then shifting his focus to the rest, the captain said, "We need heroes to jump too!" And all the hot-blooded American men jumped off courageously.

The captain continued, "No, this won't do, we need MORE to jump. I'll need to enforce a new rule in the ship for the good of all. Ok, obey the rule, I want you to jump!" All the German men responded dutifully.

Then, looking at the Japanese men, the captain appealed, "I'll leave you to determine by consensus, to jump or not to jump for your family's sake..." The Japanese discussed animatedly among themselves and by a majority vote, jumped off the ship in unity.

With most men overboard, the captain finally worked his way down to the last group of men, his ultimate challenge - Singaporeans! "Oh boy ..." Stumped and scratching his head, he wondered what would motivate them? Then struck by sudden brillance, he announced, "Ooi, free life-jackets for those who jump!" Guess what? They clamoured to form a queue, and jumped happily as they put on their free gift!

See? Know who you're speaking to, what motivates them, and speak to them accordingly.

Having said all these, of course, I'm assuming that you'll want to help others out, and not try to manipulate others into doing your biddings huh? :)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29 TNIV)


Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is jessica welcome to the wonderful world of blogging :) I just wanted to say, this is great advice! my communications teacher told me that one of the main things that you look for when speaking is your audience and knowing how to speak in order to please that particular group of people. you definitely wouldn't be able to talk to an audience of adults the same way that you'd talk to an audience of children.

Jane said...

Hi Jessica,
Glad you find this useful. I'm learning this lesson too. :)