How Understanding Public Speaking Can Help Your Dating Life
I'm working on becoming the best speaker I can be. Are you working on becoming the best _____ (fill in the blank!) you can be?
I'm already a pretty good speaker. People tell me this and I’ve used my oral communication skills professionally -- in front of live audiences and via video -- for decades. But I know I haven't reached my full potential yet.
Every time I give a talk or teach a workshop, I "post-mortem" after the event. I sit down, watch the video, (even though it's super cring-y to hear myself), and make note of my "do-betters." (My opportunities for improvement!) I ask my partner to share his observations as well. I take his constructive criticism to heart because we have the common goal of seeing me elevate my delivery and my impact.
After leading a recent seminar for business owners on the topic of Visibility Development, I watched the loooong video and made a list of areas I needed to tighten up:
- Make sure have the prop connector/converter for laptop
- Start on time or no later than 5 minutes after
- Seed the opportunity to work together ongoing more consistently throughout the content. Help them see the benefits and value!
- Mind the time (end on time). This means I need to know which slides to leave out if I’m running out of time!
- Stop selling myself short. I have a lot of education and expertise in the area of interpersonal communications, relationship development, branding/marketing, and developing a “known” personality -- and an audience for it! Sometimes, I’m too eager to confess my weaknesses and shortcomings!
Now, if you're wondering, "What does this have to do with dating and relationships?" hold on, because the answer is: More than you might think!
You may not be in the business of giving presentations. In fact, you might be reading this because you’re unattached, you live or work in the Wichita, KS area, and you’re accustomed to getting some free dating & relationship advice in this blog! Well, you’re not wrong to be reading… Here are 5 tips I mined from my workshop experience that you can put into action in your dating life immediately...
Tip 1: Have the proper connector/converter.
Not having the technology tool to make my Mac "talk" to the big screen TV and show the power point slides I had prepared was a game-ender. Cause for panic! Thankfully, my better half (and right-hand man) made a mad dash to Best Buy to get the item we needed. Viola! Showing AND telling was now possible.
How does this relate to a first date situation?
You may find that the person you're meeting doesn't quite "speak" the same language you do. I'm not talking about language in terms of English, Italian, Spanish, etc. I'm talking about language in terms of the language of positivity or negativity. I'm talking about love languages. I'm talking about language in terms of ways of seeing the world. Our background experiences, our education and profession, our social groups -- all of these provide frames of reference and reinforce values. And sometimes this is where communication mis-steps and pitfalls occur on a first or early-stage date.
YOU -- as the elevated dater that you are or are striving to be -- may have to provide the connection. YOU may have to translate. Even if you don't think that date #1 will result in date #2, you can still take actions that will result in date #1 being a better experience for both of you. That means really making the effort to see and hear what the other person is expressing. BE the connector.
Tip 2: Start on time (or no more than 5 min. after).
I intentionally started my workshop late because I was waiting for a guest to arrive. She had registered and texted that she was running late, so I knew she was on her way. Yet my decision caused the other guests to wait for 15 minutes and I ran past the time I was scheduled to conclude. While I didn't want this one particular guest to miss valuable information, I really should have started on time (or close to it) to show that I respected the other attendee's time.
How does this apply on a date?
It's pretty obvious: Be on time. It shows your date that you're looking forward to getting to know them. It prevents them from feeling the anxiety and negative thoughts that come up when they're sitting at a table or at a bar waiting for you, wondering if you changed your mind or if something came up. Punctuality is a form of respect; start out on the right foot with someone new by being on time (which probably means arriving a few minutes early.)
Tip 3: Seed the “work together ongoing” opportunity more often throughout.
In the world of public speaking for business, "seeding" means you are planting the seed of an idea or a suggestion in the minds of your audience as you navigate your speech. You are making a recommendation here and there throughout the talk that assumes, "At the end of this, you'll want more of what I have to share."
How do you do this in a dating context?
If the person you're with is someone you're attracted to and interested in, you'll want to see them again. You can make warm, light-hearted, casual comments a few times throughout the date that non-threateningly assume you will see each other again. "So Mexican street tacos are your specialty? That's a pretty cool coincidence, cuz I am on a one-woman mission to find THE BEST Mexican street taco in town! If you know where it exists, I'm counting on you to show me!"
The trick is to make this prediction of seeing each other again in a pressure-free way -- with a wink-and-a-smile, as it were. You are presuming they will want to see you again -- but in a way that doesn't sound presumptuous. This opens the door for an actual invitation to go out again.
Tip 4: Mind the time (meaning: end on time).
One of the most easily avoided pitfalls is when you’re having a fabulous time on a date but you can’t quite bring yourself to call it a night – you’re having too much fun! So you make it a marathon . . . and then wonder why the person you went out with doesn’t contact you again for a follow-up. This doesn’t always happen after epically lengthy first dates, but it does more often than the parties involved realize. You converse. You connect. Maybe you even have some flirtatious banter. You keep at it for hours – maybe you even order a few more rounds. Then you go home.
Consciously or not, one or both parties has the sense of having over-indulged. There is no longer a sense of curiosity and mystery about the other person. One (or both) of you were “too available.” If you’re closing down the bar or restaurant, you’re probably not minding the time. End the evening at a reasonable (and predetermined) time so you will still have something up your sleeve for the follow-up date and you’ll keep the energy of the chase alive.
Tip 5: Stop selling yourself short.
So what if you’ve been on 40 first dates. So what if you’ve been divorced – twice. So what if you have a complicated life with a stressful job and precious little free time. Don’t lead with any of that.
Instead, focus on what you have to give, what you love about your life, and how you make others’ lives better. There are ways to humbly drop in nice things that other people say about you and appreciate about you without sounding like you’re boasting. Know your value. If you don’t, your dating partner certainly won’t!
Sometimes, I’m too eager to confess my weaknesses and shortcomings when I’m giving a talk. This is similar to the tendency that some single men and women have of accentuating the negative aspects of their lives and past relationships.
The short advice: Don’t do it! It positions you as a non-competent or unavailable dater. It can give the impression that you aren’t quite relationship-ready. It can also give the impression that you’ll take more than you give. None of this is attractive. None of it invites someone to consider a relationship with you.
So, I’m on a mission to fix these things. And I wouldn't have known where my own blind spots were if I hadn't
a.) studied my own “game tape,” and
b.) had someone I trust taking notes and giving me the tough-love feedback I needed in order to identify and overcome them.
I know that it's time to perfect my presentations, and if you’re a single guy or gal who hasn’t had much luck with the dating scene, then be honest: It’s probably time to make things a little more seamless your dating game.
That’s what we do for our coaching and matchmaking clients at The Date Maven. We help you raise your attraction vibration, enact a social strategy that puts you in contact with MORE of the RIGHT kind of people, and mitigate those blind spots that are standing in the way of experiencing the love & connection you crave -- within weeks. We can help you get more enjoyment out of dating and get more of what you want from all types of social interactions. (316-530-7090)