I was listening to a speaker talk about fishing experiences when he was a child.
He was expertly demonstrating casting a line into a lake, only to pull an empty fishing hook out of the water.
After doing this three times, he then pulled a stuffed fish out of his bucket to represent what he’d caught.
The Zemo Effect
The fish he pulled out had wide orange and white stripes. Immediately, I started thinking about that famous animated movie. The one with the orange and white striped fish.
What was the name of that movie?
(NOTE: Because the owner of that film is litigious, I can’t name it here).
If the movie you named rhymes with ‘Winding Zemo’ you are correct!
Because of this experience, I now name this the Zemo Effect.
What exactly does this mean?
It refers to making the mistake of sharing an image, a prop or an idea that distracts listeners. It causes them to think more about the image rather than what you are saying.
What’s The Cost?
When the speaker pulled out that white and orange striped fish, for a few seconds my mind wandered.
I thought, “That looks like ‘Zemo.’ I hope nobody else is thinking the same thing. Hope he doesn’t get in trouble with the company for using that fish without their permission.”
I’m having some fun with the situation. But there’s a serious message behind it. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who got distracted.
I know this with certainty because we polled the attendees who’d also seen the speech. We asked them what came to mind when they saw that fish.
In the chat box, half of them wrote the name of that fish, the one that rhymes with ‘Zemo.’
Are You Sending Them On A Detour?
My fellow coach Mark Brown was on the same call. He shared this bit of wisdom:
Never send your audience on a detour that distracts them from your message.
Here is a valuable tip to use when you’re preparing your presentation:
Ask your evaluators if there is any part of your talk that is distracting.
How did it distract them?
What mental “road” did it take them down?
Be willing to ask for this feedback and you can cut out the distracting parts of your presentation.
If you don’t you risk your listeners going down a road from which you can’t get them back.
Want to keep the attention of your listeners?
Avoid sending your audience on a detour.
Avoid the Zemo Effect.
Discovering the Gold in Your Stories is Hard. Why Do It Alone?
It’s impossible to coach yourself. Our “blind spots” keep us
from seeing the power or the message in our experiences.
We’re too close to them. We lived through those events and it’s difficult to see how they can impact others.
Even world-class speakers have coaches to help them see the gold in their stories.
If you’d like to talk with Michael to uncover your gold, schedule a 15-minute call to determine how he can help you.
Schedule your no-cost & no-obligation ZOOM call: https://calendly.com/speaker017/15-minute-call