Chapter 4 Synopsis

Connecting Always Requires Energy

When I was working on my bachelor’s degree, I took a speech class. More than forty years later, I can truly say that learning how to speak to an audience has been foundational to my journey through life as well as to my growth as a speaker. It was in that class that I heard what my professor called the “Four Unpardonable Sins of a Communicator”: being unprepared, uncommitted, uninteresting, or uncomfortable.

Do you notice the common denominator for three out of four of those “sins”? It’s energy.

Think about the best communicators you know – public speakers, team leaders, and individuals. Make a mental list, then consider this: how many of them are low-energy people? I’d be willing to bet the answer is none. Even when people come across as fairly low key, they usually possess reserves of energy that are not evident on the surface. Why do I say that? Because connecting with other people doesn’t just happen on its own. If you want to connect with others, you must be intentional about it. And that always requires energy.

It doesn’t matter with whom or within what context you are trying to connect. It’s always the same: you need to bring energy to do it effectively. And to make the most of connecting opportunities, you must channel that energy strategically. There are specific things you can do to help foster connection – everything from taking initiative to knowing your audience to acting selflessly. Learning and practicing these strategies will improve your connection with anyone—with your spouse, at a social gathering, with coworkers or your boss, at a meeting, from a podium, or on stage in a stadium.

If you want to connect with others, but are hoping you can do so without being intentional, forget about it. Connecting always requires energy.

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