A short while ago, a new supreme court justice was sworn in, and it got me thinking about what it must be like to speak to the supreme court. Most of the time those speakers are attorneys, but their goal is the same as every public speaker… to present, prove, and persuade their listeners into believing that their perspective has the most merit.
A couple of days later, I came across an excellent article written by John Zimmer on his website, Manner of Speaking, 14 Public Speaking Lessons from the United States Supreme Court. This article provided several interesting and effective points to keep in mind when preparing your own presentations—regardless of whether your audience is the local Rotary Club or the Supreme Court of the U.S.
Granted, the Supreme Court of the U.S. deals with subjects that might carry more weight than someone speaking about “ordinary” topics such as “How to Effectively Sleep Train You Baby,” or “How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business.” But if we, as “ordinary” speakers, downplay the reality that there are people who are just as invested in hearing what we have to say, it’s time to re-acquaint ourselves with the power and value of what we’re doing.
Every speaker is in a position to impact someone else’s life. It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from an educational, informative, serious, or entertainment perspective either. Your topic should be presented in a way that inspires, encourages, and empowers someone to consider—possibly even do—something new or different.
As public speakers, we are a huge source of those wonderful “aha” moments we all love! Those moments when an audience’s eyes are opened to something they never saw coming. Gratefully, as public speakers, we are also in a position to share what people should do after they have one of those moments. And this is when public speakers get to shine their brightest, sharing their wisdom and expertise in a way that allows their audiences to take action.
Is this just as important as what an attorney does when he/she is arguing a case in front of the supreme court? You bet it is. I’m not saying it’s on the same scale, but politics aside, being able to help people achieve or accomplish something personally and/or professionally is a goal every public speaker has an absolutely fundamental right to feel good about!