Hi, I’m Jackie Barrie.
I was at a meeting of the Professional Speaking Association UK, South East region. Branding expert, Barnaby Wynter, was speaking about different kinds of presentation style using the acronym IMPACT:
- Informative (content speaker)
- Motivational (inspiring speaker)
- Persuasive (speaker who sells from the stage)
- Ad lib (after-dinner or comedic speaker)
- Ceremonial (MC/emcee or compere)
- Teacher (coaches and trainers)
He then added a seventh. One I’d never heard of before. “There’s also the kind of speaker who gets people involved in doing stuff – Jackie is brilliant at this.”
Wow! I’ve never had a lightbulb moment before, but this was a revelation.
I knew I was often called upon to facilitate some active networking, or to provide an audience participation exercise, or to think up an engaging breakout session, but I didn’t know it was ‘a Thing’ because I’d never seen anyone else doing it before.
It was as if a line of dots suddenly joined up in my head, going right back to childhood.
Yes, I’ve always loved games. Playing Mine-a-Million (aka the Business Game) with the family years ago, and no-one arguing about the rules; playing Scrabble when I visit my parents on a Sunday. I even gamify present-giving to my teenage nephews and nieces by making them play a new game I invent each year so they ‘earn’ their gift of money.
Yes, I’ve always been quite competitive.I used to play darts and computer games. I like to win but don’t take it too seriously and can also find the fun in losing.
Yes, I’m no Egghead but I do remember random trivia. So I enjoy being part of a quiz team. I sometimes set quizzes myself, including in the home-made crackers I create every Christmas.
As a copywriter, I train and speak about writing compelling copy. I talk about taglines and websites. And I think I’m quite good at it. But let’s be honest, there are lots of other copywriters also talking about those subjects.
I’d been looking for my niche, and when Barnaby said those words at that event, I found it.
As a professional communicator, sometimes the best way to get your message across is through your written words displayed on screen or printed on paper. Sometimes it’s in what you say on stage, from the front of the room, or in a webinar.
And, sometimes, it’s through an activity that the audience participates in.
That’s what experiential speaking is all about.
Back to that day at PSA SE. I’d run the ‘snowball fight’ activity which went really well. After the event, Barnaby and Antoinette Dale Henderson asked me which book I got my ideas from.
“No book,” I said. “I get most of my ideas out of my own experience and my own head.”
“You must write the book then,” they said.
So I did.