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Nothing to Say? No Way.
When I was a relatively young child, a friend of mine got the very first
recording device in the neighborhood. We were invited over to see this new
invention and to test the recording of our voices. We all said something, but
when my friend Jim held the mic he said, “Jim ain’t got nothing to say.”
Jim is now a very successful hospital administrator. Whenever we talk, we
joke about that day. Jim’s wife always says, “That’s the last time he was
Is it okay to have nothing to say? If you see a magnificent shot on the golf course, you may be “speechless.” If something is going on around you that you don’t understand or believe, you may be at a “loss for words.” But in the organization or business that you’re a part of, you should always have something to say.
Remember the Elevator Speech? You are alone in an elevator on the ground floor of your building, and someone walks in as the door closes. You recognize her as the CEO of your company. You introduce yourselves to each other, and then she asks, “So what do you do for us here?” The ride upstairs is not the time to be speechless or tell her that you have nothing to say. You should always have an Elevator Speech prepared: a clear, succinct message about yourself and what you do – in 60 seconds or less!
Here’s what I would say. “I’m your speech coach. I make sure that our people represent our company to our customers and the public in a confident and persuasive manner. I also prepare people to make presentations to
you and the other executives. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you. You are already very good, and you can get even better.”
Remember how important communication is – whether in planned, scheduled meetings, or chance encounters in the hall, on a street corner or even in an elevator ride. So think about this, and be ready. Then you won’t make a bad impression by telling us you have “nothing to say.”