How’s This for Irony?
Yet, because of their idealism, Helpers often find themselves on the front lines of social activism, either asking for money or trying to get other people involved.
(And what an invitation to conflict those two activities can be!)
I talked about this (and confessed all) in a recent expert video for Asking Matters. (Asking Matters helps non-profit staff, board members and volunteers ask for donations — and yes, “Kindred Spirits” are Helpers by another name.)
Another place where the Helper’s hatred of conflict can make us clutch is in Q&A. Some people love this portion of a presentation (just like they love the excitement of debate), but for Helpers, it’s hard to think clearly when there’s even a hint that questions may get adversarial.
In both of these cases — asking for money and answering questions — the key to staying cool and collected when (real or imagined) conflict threatens is preparation.
Get Ready, Get Set…
Before wading into (real or imagined) battle,
- Be able to clearly articulate your key message (the most important idea that you want your audience to take away). In a debate or discussion, returning to the main point that you want to make will help you stay on course, and avoid other people’s emotions or agendas.
- Make a list of questions that you hope people won’t ask (along with the ones you expect they will) — and practice answering them. You don’t want to find yourself facing “yes, buts” that you’ve never considered before in public!
- Remind yourself that disagreements don’t have to be personal. When they’re handled responsibly, with respect, they can even bring people closer together.
Being mentally prepared can help you stay calm, feel relaxed, and put your concerns about conflict in perspective.
And they work even if you’re not a “Kindred Spirit” or Helper!
Has Knowing Your Public Speaking Style Helped You?
This is just one example of how knowing your own public speaking style can help you prepare for public speaking challenges in advance.
Is there a time when that worked for you?