The Magic Question that Works Every Time

How to Find Your Core Message and Turn a Simple Story into a Spellbinding Speech!

“I need a life balance coach.” I said in jest (or so I thought) as I introduced myself on a tele-seminar I was delivering to around fifty coaches on  how to craft a keynote speech. A moment later a voice called out  “That’s me! I’m a life balance coach.” Just one voice …out of fifty people who are trained in life balance. Why did she speak up?

I found out.

When the tele-seminar ended Viki (the life balance coach) called and emailed me (She was eager –– that impressed me!) and I asked my helper to contact her and offered her a trade of an hour of me coaching her on her speech, and she, in return, was to help me “balance.”. She was so enthusiastic and who knows… maybe I could learn how to play…. or at least rest.

When On our first coaching call, I observed she did not have her “core message” and seemed to be doing a terrific amount of writing, hoping it would turn up.

It does turn up — in fact, it turns up everywhere, but we are always the last to recognize it! One’s core message is a mystery that seems to elude almost every speaker — no, every speaker I’ve met — and that’s a big group!  Finding core messages is a passion and specialty of mine. Some folks collect butterflies — my interest: core messages.

I have what I call my “magic question” that works every time.

I asked Viki to tell me a story: an important story from her life. She told me what I would call her “Cinderella” story. There isn’t a better story than Cinderella. It’s been around the globe in various versions for thousands of years (said to have originated inChina with foot-binding and ancestor-worship), and if there’s one fairy tale that everyone remembers from childhood, this one is it. Why? We all love the stories that affirm our hopes. And we all remember the personal stories from our experiences that define who we are. In fact, I believe we spend our life answering the question “Who am I?”

So she shared with me how she was in the process of divorce and was just beginning to go out in the world on adventures on her own… and how in her heart she was cherishing a secret wish: to meet Mr. Right… right now!

And there he was! Standing there in the conference center across the room. Handsome. Compelling. And with another woman. It was the single woman’s mantra: “All the good men are taken” as usual. But no… the woman he was conversing with left. He was alone. Viki did not waste time. She approaches. Now they are chatting. She feels even more attracted. The conference ends. He walks her to her car and walks away.

Bad ending!

Nothing to do now.  Viki sits in her car trying to exit the conference area and finds herself locked in traffic, broken-hearted. She peers into her rear view mirror at the car behind her and… she sees her prince charming at the wheel! Yes! She has one more chance!

She puts her car in park, runs to his car, tosses her card through his window, commands him to call her and runs, with her heart thumping, into her car.

And what happens? He married her, of course, and they lived happily ever after (and now have two daughters, a dog, fish, and five box turtles).

Now, I ask Viki my magic question: “What did you learn about yourself in that story?” Not “What lesson did you learn?”  Not “What did you learn about life”? No! We remember the stories that define who we are.

She muses a bit and says, “I must do things I have never done before!” Yes!

She explained her process to me.  It becomes her “Five Step Process” to do what’s new! Here’s what she found: Admit your secret desire to yourself. Give yourself permission to have it. Really feel you desire. Now feel your fear (that’s the sign you are adventuring into the zone of the unknown). And finally: Act outrageously! Outrageously: with speed, enthusiasm and boldness. That became her five action steps… and her speech!

She tells me “Wow! That’s my secret! That’s how I came to be on this call with you Lisa! I I’m the one that called out and offered to coach you out of fifty coaches!

Why didn’t anyone else speak up?

Now we have the answer!

Because they didn’t’ know Viki’s “Five Step Process” to do what’s new!

Do you want to find your message?

A speech is a success formula made up of stories, insights and action steps that solves your audiences’ problems so they can realize their dreams. Your core message is the secret ingredient in your stories-the very specific action step you took to the happily ever after.

Our pro-active Cinderella (also known as Viki Andino) found her message and the foundation for her spellbinding speech with one question.

Now, what do you need to do?

Me… I’m waiting for my session with her to find my balance!


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