In the late 1860's in England, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli were contenders for the position of Prime Minster. This was the Victorian era and this position carried substantial power. Thus the winner of the election would rule half the free world. Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's mum, had an opportunity to dine with both these great men and was asked about her experience. 

    "When I left the dining room after sitting next to Gladstone, I was convinced he was the cleverest man in all of England."
What about Disraeli?

    "Well, after spending time with Disraeli I was convinced that I was the cleverest woman in all of England." 


No prizes for guessing who won that election. Disraeli was elected in 1867.

This story demonstrates an important principle for those who wish to be Captivating Speakers. Zig Ziglar famously said,


"People don't care how much you know

until they know how much you care." 




Speak to your audience's needs. Speak to THEIR interests. Stop being self-conscious and work towards become 'others' conscious. If you wish to reach an audience you will need to reach their ears through their hearts. Draw from your life's experiences and share them in such a way that people can relate, identify and learn from. 


Sharing with OTHERS with THEIR needs in mind is most important. To do so you must learn to listen well. Become intensely interested in other people and their needs. Don't do all the talking. When another person is talking pay complete attention. Be responsive and warm. Share your stories so that others will share theirs but remember to give them time to do so. 






















To answer this question, let's examine the most listed human needs:

  1. Certainty / Security: How to avoid pain and gain pleasure.

  2. Uncertainty / Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli and adventure.

  3. Significance: Feeling unique, important, special or needed

  4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something. A sense of belonging.

  5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding

  6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others


Craft your speech or talk with these in mind.




  1. Making money / financial freedom / getting out of debt

  2. Health and fitness - Weight loss, beauty, anti-ageing

  3. Relationships - Romantic / family / friendships

  4. Lifestyle - Recreation and play

  5. The meaning of life - Who am I? What am I doing here? Spirituality



Who are you speaking to? What are their needs and desires?  What do they care about? What do they wish to learn? How can you fulfill those needs and desires? How do you demonstrate that you really do care? How do you share valuable information in such a way that people can grasp, understand and retain that information?

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I conduct this exercise during my workshops because it serves to demonstrate a valuable point. If you'd like to try it out for yourself, you will need a volunteer to assist. Choose someone of roughly equal height. Do not choose a loved one for this exercise. It's best to choose a virtual stranger but a casual friend or an acquaintance will also do.


  • Stand in front of your chosen partner.

  • Stand about an arm's length apart facing one another. Feet pointing forward. 

  • Stare at one another for about a minute. Examine your partner's face, every detail of it and finally focus on the person's eyes. This might feel a bit uncomfortable but there's a point to this.

  • After a full minute of staring, you and your partner must close your eyes. Bring a loved one's face to mind and think about a loving situation. If you can visualise the person saying, "I love you" even better. Use your visualisation skills until you have a very clear picture in your mind and a warm feeling in your heart.

  • Then open your eyes and look at one another again.

  • What do you observe in the other person's face now?

  • What is different about their eyes?

  • Share your observations.


  1. Your objective is to establish connection points between yourself and others. Instead of sharing your interests with others, ask them about theirs. Ask others about what they care about and listen carefully. Take notes.

  2. Sign into www.ted.com and conduct a search for the most popular talks. Watch those that have the accrued the most views and you will come to understand what interests people and why.



Be alert to the unspoken, underlying needs that people have. Understand that your relationships depend on meeting these underlying needs.









Topics your


cares about




“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

― John Holmes



LESSON 1 - You are Your Own Brand - 08/28/2014
Figuring out who you are and what you offer to this world. What makes you unique and how you can use this to your advantage. Improve your skills through objective evaluation.



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