Updated: Sep 6, 2018
In our ACTS Speaking Model, the "A" is for Adding Value. I once had an opportunity, along with two other speakers, to speak to a group of women at a women's battered sheltered home in Cape Town South Africa. When we first arrived the women, there were very apprehensive. The look in their eyes conveyed distrust, uncertainty, and fear. By the end of our speeches, the entire atmosphere had changed. They were hugging us, speaking very friendly to us, even taking pictures with us. We had connected with them on a level that caused whatever fear they had to vanish. I learned something from that experience speaking is first and foremost "Adding Value". We could have tried to show off our elegance of speech, or our innate ability to command the English language, but that would not have added value to them.
We simply made the moment about them. We shared with them tools they could utilize to achieve their dreams, and we shared familiar interested in that no matter what our backgrounds or circumstances are we all were created to do something bigger than ourselves. When we finished, it was evident by their tears that they had connected with us sincerely. Without our permission, they walked up to us and hugged us, and expressed their gratitude for taking the time to come and add value to them. As a speaker, we are called to add value. If you as a speaker want to really add value in connecting with your audience follow these three steps, and you will exceed many who have been in the speaking business
1. Have an others first mentality
2. Always come prepared to give your audiences something
3. Find a common interest with your audience and contribute to their interest