Jean Marie DiGiovanna is an international keynote speaker, leadership trainer and certified executive coach who is passionate about helping people think and lead differently. She has run large-scale live training and E-learning programs across the globe training as many as 100 employees per month and has facilitated team-norming and team intervention sessions to hundreds of project teams across the globe. Jean Marie was named a “Top 10 Coach of Boston,” by Women’s Business Boston and is a published author of “Stop Talking Start Asking: 27 Questions to Shift the Culture of Your Organization. In true Renaissance Spirit, when Jean Marie isn’t working, she is busy traveling the world, working in her art studio, skiing fast or dancing to live Latin music.
Questions successful speakers make
Jean Marie’s book has 27 key questions. Among those, these are excellent questions successful speakers make:
- To book a gig, you have to understand customers’ needs, and distinguish the needs from the wants: What would success look like at the end of my talk? What would you love people to leave with? What are the top 3 biggest challenges the audience is facing now? What would most surprise an outsider looking into from your organization?
- Start your talk with an impressive fact, statistic, great story and after that, ask a question: Who on your team fits these qualities? How many people are you working with like these?
- Rhetorical questions. Share a story and highlight a lesson learned, and then ask a “What if …?” question. Example: What would be possible if you can experience this yourself?
- Powerful questions either move you forward or down. Start with a “what” or “how.” Encourage your audience to think, so they either take action or deepen their learning.
Another tactic is using the phrase “Imagine.” Example: Keep your mailbox to zero (you gave a fact). Imagine you have just 10 emails, all you can see is page 1 of your mailbox.
Others ways to use questions
- End with a question. An example Jean Marie uses in her talks about renaissance leadership is “Will you left in the dark ages or will you be the next renaissance leader?”
- If you ask too many questions, your audience might be asking what your intention is, or even question your thought leadership. Too many questions can be overkill.
- You can also insert a few questions in some stories.
Related: How Speakers Do the Impossible
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
Routine to Shine
Take time each day to stop and quiet your mind, and listen. When feeling overwhelmed, stressed: Stop, take a deep breathe, quiet your mind and ask yourself a question. “What do I need most right now?” Answers will come quickly. And go do that thing: take a walk, call a friend, keep going, etc.
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