Talk to the wall.

What does that mean? Sometimes when you’re doing a speech, before you’re even writing the speech, when you’re just at the very beginning and you’re outlining the idea, sometimes a real rational approach, a really well-thought out approach, works really well. A top-down thing. What do I want to say? What’s the moral of the story? Then you fill in the spaces later.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work that way, and sometimes you’ve just got to fill in the spaces first and let the shape come later.

That’s why I say, talk to the wall, because sometimes the best speeches come when you talk to an inanimate object. Talk to the wall or talk to the couch, or talk to the cat, or talk to a plant, or whatever.

For a couple of days, just tell a story and talk to whatever that object is. Somewhere along the way, the story will start to take shape.

When you first start out, it might feel awful and you might think this story is so uninteresting and it has no point at all.

I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to go through that for a couple of hours, feeling like that, before finally, something starts to take shape.

At the end, you’re going to end up with a speech that’s probably better than any one that you would have rationally thought about beforehand. It requires more creativity and patience at the beginning, but sometimes the results … You’ll get results that a rational approach won’t get you.


About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.