Are you a square?
Or a circle.
Perhaps a triangle.
Could you be a squiggle?
Asking the questions was Connie Podesta, an American public speaker at a London conference I attended this week.
The author of seven books.
My favourite is Life Would Be Easy If It Weren’t For Other People. I wrote a blog on this here.
I’d heard her before and was looking forward to further insights from this comedienne/therapist.
Squares are the detail people.
Structured, left-brain types.
They’re list people.
When they say they’ll do something, they do it.
Circles are the party people, the social people.
They’re motivators, peace-makers and love helping others.
Triangles get straight to the point.
They want things done their way.
Then there are squiggles.
These are the ideas people, who think outside the box.
They like to be different and are guided through life by post-it notes.
We need to know this because we like to be communicated with according to the way WE see the world.
The trouble is, Connie explained, that each shape prefers to communicate the way THEY see the world.
This causes problems, especially in public speaking.
Squares are driven mad by the unstructured conversations of squiggles.
Squiggles have authority issues if the squares get bossy.
And circles just want to talk when triangles want a purpose.
While the circles just wish the triangles would lighten up and enjoy themselves.
With her brilliant insights, Connie entertained and educated us for five hours during her speech.
Her aim was helping us to see it from the other person’s point of view.
When we see it from the audience’s point of view, we connect with them.
It’s how we convince a senior colleague to follow our plan.
It’s how to turn a prospect into a client, how to win a contract.
It’s how to succeed in a job interview.
But here’s one irony.
Squares and triangles are attracted to circles and squiggles as life partners.
You see, when they team up, each makes up for the other’s deficiencies.
A squiggle will come up with a great idea for a holiday.
A square will be the one to plan the trip.
A circle will invite lots of fun people to a party.
The triangle will ensure the food and drink are all laid out and the house is looking good.
So what shape are you, or what combination?
And what shapes are the people you’re looking to influence with your public speaking?
When you work that out, it could stop you feeling like a round peg in a square hole.
Bill McFarlan is the Executive Chairman of Pink Elephant Communications in Glasgow.
You can view his full profile here…
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