By Arvee Robinson
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He made us in his own image. If God made us in his own image, this means that our words are just as powerful as His. Words create worlds. Our words have created the world we live in today and the world for those around us. Our words have infinite impact.
Knowing this, it is imperative that we pay attention to what we say to ourselves and others. To create the world we desire, to right a wrong, and to change the unchangeable, we must communicate with impact.
Using the acronym IMPACT, here are six easy ways you can do it.
Inspire. First, inspire your audience and encourage them to see your vision of the way the world could be. Your words must be propelled by passion, enthusiasm, and energy. You want your listeners to adopt your way of thinking, to walk alongside of you, and become part of your mission. Years ago, during his final presentation, one of my students lacked the passion to inspire his audience. He was selling a popular energy drink from the stage. I gently took him aside and suggested that he drink one of his own drinks. You need to fuel your vision with enthusiasm. If you’re not excited, no one else will be.
Mindset. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” This famous quote by Henry Ford shows how your mindset determines your success or failure. Your mindset is created by the words you say to yourself about yourself. Say it long enough, and it will decide your destiny. How do you change your way of thinking? By claiming what you want out loud with emotion, by making a declaration. A declaration is different from an affirmation. An affirmation is simply a state of being affirmed. For example, take the statement “I want to lose weight.” A declaration is the act of declaring it is so. “I weigh 118 pounds, and I can eat whatever I want!” Think of a declaration as an announcement or a proclamation of the absolute truth. And so, it is so.
Persuade. If you want to impact your listeners, learn how to use persuasive language. That is the language of your audience. Imagine a three-part pyramid. At the bottom level is what your audience wants. An audience can be made up of one person or hundreds of people. It doesn’t have to be a large group; it’s to whomever you are speaking in that moment. The second level is finding your audience’s pain points. How much pain and suffering is caused by them not getting what they want? Verbally and vividly paint the ugly picture for them. This shows them that you know what they are going through. Then present the solution—YOU! Yes, you are the solution to their problem. This is the secret behind persuasive speaking.
When I share this example of a pyramid, I can’t help but think about the time I was a mentor for the Billionaire Adventure Club in Egypt. As a group we decided to visit the great pyramids of Giza. At the time, I thought walking into a pyramid would be like walking into the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. You walk in, look around at the artifacts, and leave. Not true! We had to bend down to fit into the small entry and then walk on a wobbly slatted wooden board down to the center of the pyramid.
As we walked in, hunched over, the light from the outside suddenly went out. Panic-stricken, I turned for a quick getaway. The guy behind me said, “Are you sure?” In my mind, I had been thinking, I’ll come back to Egypt and do this at another time. After hearing his words, though, I knew I would never come back, and this was my only opportunity to see inside this great mausoleum. I turned back around and continued my journey downward. Once inside, there was nothing to see except an empty crip. I came, I saw, and I bolted out of there.
Authenticity. Audiences have changed over the years. They no longer tolerate boring or fake speakers. Audiences change every decade in what they want from a speaker. In the 70s audiences tolerated lectures, the 80’s they wanted more of a presentation, the 90s they preferred a conversation, and we just left the decade of experiential speaking where audiences wanted to be a part of the presentation. Today, audiences are searching for what I call naked authenticity. This means they are looking for speakers to be real, to be vulnerable, and to be who they truly are. The greater the authenticity, the greater the impact.
Courage. Impact takes courage. It takes courage to right a wrong, to speak up for those without a voice. Candy Lightner had the courage to be one of those voices. She was a real estate agent and the single mother of four. One day, after returning home from shopping with a girlfriend, she saw her mother, father, and ex-husband sitting on her porch. Her ex-husband greeted her and told her their thirteen-year-old daughter Cari had been killed by a drunk driver while walking to a church festival. Cari was hit so hard that she died instantly. Later, Candy learned that this repeat offender’s wife caught him rubbing Cari’s blood off his front bumper. He spent a mere seventy-two hours in jail. This made Candy MAD. She decided to do something about it and founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Armed with her anger, passion, and courage, she set out to bring about awareness and change. She started speaking to local groups, schools, and gatherings. In the months and years that followed, Candy’s hard work paid off, and she spoke before Congress. She fought and succeeded in getting two major laws changed: first, raising the drinking age to twenty-one years old in most states; and second, lowering the blood alcohol level. With the implementation of these two laws, she has been credited with saving more than 400,000 lives. Courage creates impact!
Truth. “Thou shalt not lie.” This is one of the Ten Commandments that we learned as a child, yet we’ve all lied at some point in our lives. We might lie to stay out of trouble or to protect ourselves or others. Either way, lying usually backfires. When I was six months old, I had pneumonia, and it settled in my ears, causing severe hearing loss. At school I would play and talk to my friends while the teacher was teaching. Written on every report card was the same message: “Arvee talks too much!” Little did they know it was because I couldn’t hear and was asking my friends, “What did she say? What are we supposed to do?” My hearing loss went undetected until I was thirteen. Finally, one of my teachers sent me to get a hearing test. My parents were surprised at my low-test score; they thought I just didn’t listen. They immediately took me to an ear specialist who scheduled my first operation, a stapedectomy. In simple terms, they replaced one of my inner ear bones with a tiny wire. This changed my world forever. I could hear!
When I was sixteen, I was scheduled for my second ear surgery. Only this time, I was embarrassed to tell my friends. So I lied instead. I said I was going into the hospital for some tests, and I would be absent for three days. When I returned to school, to my horror, it was rumored that I had an abortion. This was impossible because I was a young woman of faith and a virgin. In that moment, I realized that if you don’t tell the truth, people will make up their own truth—and it won’t be pretty; it will be ugly. The truth will not only set you free; so will the impact.
For the past two decades, as a public speaking coach, I’ve been teaching others how to speak on stage and create impact with their words. I believe that everyone has a message to share that only they can share with people that can only hear it from them. That message will save someone’s business, life, or soul. I used to think that if you couldn’t deliver that message, it would be taken away from you and given to someone who could. One day, I was in church and heard the deacon say, “God has given us all unique gifts, and if we don’t use those gifts, they will be unused for all eternity.”
That’s it! If we don’t deliver our message, it will be undelivered for all eternity! All those people whose lives you were supposed to save will go on suffering for all eternity. Don’t let that happen to you. Learn how to use your voice, tell your story, and share your message—because it matters to someone!
You can read more from Arvee on her blog
Arvee Robinson is The Master Speaker Trainer, international keynote speaker, and best-selling author. She teaches business owners how to use public speaking as a marketing strategy so they can attract more clients, generate unlimited leads, grow their business fast, and make an impact with their words.
Dan Ram ignites the stage as an in-person event and virtual event MC/ Moderator & Speaker at over 100 events a year. He has shared the stage with international luminaries including President Barack Obama, Sir Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman, Nico Rosberg, and Grammy-winning artists and celebrities. He has also been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 leader 2020 as well as a Top 100 Yale Alumni in Technology 2021. Level up your communication skills through his course and mastermind “Speaking Success”. His passion is to inspire people with his motto ‘Start Now Start Simple’ in building a future we all want to live in.