Be Thankful‘Tis the time of year to give thanks. And by ‘thanks’ I’m talking about going beyond the “thanks a lot” and the “great job” type of thank you. I’m talking about the heartfelt (choose the perfect words, feel the feelings), specific thank you.  And since this is a public speaking blog, we are taking it out of the realm of typed or written note, and moving into the spoken word arena.

So now I have an important question for you:  Should you find the time to stand up in front of an audience and thank someone who went above and beyond?  Who helped you in some significant way?  I am not just talking to managers who are fortunate enough to have a hard-working administrative assistant.  And I’m not just talking about work-related situations. I’m talking about any situation that allows you to speak from the heart and publicly thank someone for a special kindness, a warrior’s effort, or perhaps even a sacrifice that enhanced your life in some way.

Thursday being Thanksgiving, you might be already in this frame of mind. If not, let me help you get in the mood.  Let’s start by answering these questions:

  1. When you think of someone who meets one of the criteria above, who comes to mind?
  2. Describe what the person did (or didn’t do) that makes you grateful.
  3. Now condense that description into a “Thank You Speech” by completing the following sections:
    1. Address the person by name
    2. Articulate the specific act/gesture (don’t gloss over this or rush through it because you feel awkward)
    3. Describe how/why you benefited from it – be specific!
    4. Express genuine gratitude and appreciation (choose your words carefully)
    5. Connect their gesture and your reward to the bigger picture (so it’s not just about your good fortune. Demonstrate your awareness that you are part of the whole (team, organization, family, congregation, etc.)
    6. Conclude! Don’t ramble on. How can you summarize your appreciation?
  4. Where and when? This question is not to be trifled with. Some people love public praise, others wilt under it. Figure out the right event, audience, and timing so that your efforts yield the results intended:  your subject feels valued, your audience is happy to witness your expression of thanks, and you are viewed as a genuinely thoughtful person – and authentic public speaker!

You have anywhere from four to 34 days to get this done.  Start planning today.

We’d love to hear how it went.  Let us know!

– Barbara

Barbara Roche