Magnetic Speakers are Curious
My friend invited my husband and me to travel and camp in the Serengeti. Just three years prior, we explored the pyramids in Egypt, so this adventurous opportunity to venture to Tanzania became an obvious “yes.”
One of the travelers stood out, magnetized me to ask questions from him and linger on his every word. Dr. John, a South African doctor who’d been practicing for more than 50 years donned a safari hat, khaki shorts, long white socks up to his knees, and hiking boots. He embodied learning, for he did a lot of listening and reading on a myriad of topics.
Soon, I realized how much I could learn from spending time with him on the various long jeep safari rides across the Serengeti. He spoke softly, sharing story after story.
It was our sad, tearful farewell I remember most. At the time, I taught in the communication studies department at a private university and asked him, “What idea/thought should I take back to my college students?”
Without hesitation, Dr. John replied with a soft sigh and gentle warmth on his face, “Always be curious and always ask questions, for that’s never failed me in all my years of medical practice.”
He went on to explain it was through his patients he learned what ailed them and would have better success getting to the bottom solving the problem by investigating, digging deeper, for one question often led to another, then to another.
This domino effect of constant, steadfast curiosity influenced how he treated his patients.
Dr. John encouraged being curious, for it was his curiosity that helped him help people.
To become better at anything, one must be enticed with seeking knowledge, asking questions continuously.
How does this link to being a magnetic speaker?
Magnetism comes from curiosity.
When speakers are curious, their curiosity becomes contagious.
Curious speakers research their topic passionately.
Curious speakers experiment.
Curious speakers ask questions.
Cicero has said curiosity is the “passion for knowing.” This passion, desire, drives you to learn to want to be in the knowing.
In your grounded, passionate exploration, you gain and can keep your audience’s attention.