I’m sure you immediately recognized my headline as the famous and oft-quoted line from the movie Taxi Driver, which Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle delivers over and over again as he grows increasingly more menacing and angry: “You talkin’ to me?”
It’s become a part of our movie lexicon – especially if youse live in New Yawk (so, I’m from Long Island, gimme a break, will ya?). Even people who have never seen the movie will be familiar with the phrase.
And most people forget (or don’t know) that De Niro actually delivers the line TO HIS REFLECTION! He’s practicing for an imagined performance.
The quote carries an ironic twist for brandtellers. First, practicing your performance is a good thing. I recommend walking through any presentation over and over until you have it down and understand the nuances of your statements and how they will play with your audience.
But the irony comes from the power of question itself:
“You talkin’ to me?”
It’s a great question to keep in the front of your mind as you prepare because it’s the question that your AUDIENCE is asking of YOU. If you’re NOT talkin’ to them, you’re wasting their time – and yours.
[image: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons/GNU Free Documentation license]