January 19, 2012

Speech 8: The Six Basic Fears According To Napoleon Hill

by Promod Sharma, President 2011-2012

If you’re having trouble deciding what to write about, recycle. Take a look at what’s popular with your audience. If you blog, that’s easy because your analytics will tell you.

Here’s an example of recycling the six basic fears that Napoleon Hill identified in 1937. I wrote a blog post in 2008 that’s still read daily. That shows ongoing appeal. I decided create a new speech based on the content.

Too Much

The six basic fears identified by Napoleon Hill in 1937 (click for more)How do you squeeze six fears into a 5-7 minute speech? If you go into detail, you’ll run out of time. If you’re too high level, what will the audience benefit? You could spend more time on selected fears and skim the rest.

Since our fears vary, I didn’t want to bore the audience with my interpretations. I wanted them to think about their own fears and then take preventative steps. I also wanted to use very few words to allow them time to think.

Since Speech 8 requires the use of visual aids, I found a solution: photos. The right images speak for themselves and leave a lasting impact. I spent hours to find free stock photos that would not violate copyright or require credits. I replaced several that weren’t simple enough or powerful enough.

To engage the audience, I asked them to jot down the fears they thought would make the list. I showed the fears in reverse order from #6 to #1 and paused before #1 to give the audience a chance to revise their guesses. To make fear #1 stick, I added a story.

Studio Recording

Since preparing a speech takes time, why discard your work right when you’re most practiced? I made this studio recording.

There have been 74 views already. That’s larger than the live audience — another reason to record.

More Recycling

You can recycle your recycling. I inserted the video back into the original blog post. Visitors can now watch or read or both.

What do you think about the content, delivery or approach?


Promod Sharma is President 2011-2012 and — have no fear — an actuary. You’ll find more details on LinkedIn.

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