Your Superpower – Part 3
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Have you ever sat through an event when time just flew by while a presenter gave a talk? As she moved about the room, your eyes just followed her as she held your full attention. Before you knew it, she was done. You found yourself wishing she would have talked longer. What was it about her that set her apart from every other presenter you heard?
Did you have a teacher in school that was your favorite? You just loved going to his class. It might not have been your best subject, yet something was drawing you to his class. What was it that made his class special?
We’ve all had those experiences. These presenters and teachers were gifted in connecting with their audience. Some may not even know how they are making the connection, but they still are connecting, and the connection is what we were feeling. As leaders, we will often be in situations or meetings where we need to present. Having the ability to connect with the group is an essential part of successful leadership. Let’s look at a few tips to elevate your skills.
Charisma is definitely part of it. Last week I wrote that the key to being charismatic is to take the focus off of yourself and place it on the other person. The same is true for public speaking. Make the discussion or presentation about the group. Too often, a speaker or presenter focuses so much on what they want to say and forgets to think about what the group wants or needs to hear. I recently heard of a speaker who spent time meeting people in the room before his presentation. He used this time to get to know people better and learn about their expectations for his presentation. He was then able to make his topic relevant to them and their needs. Brilliant!
Keep it short. We all know what it’s like when a presenter goes on and on. Don’t be that presenter! Keep it short and leave them wanting more. This will take a lot of work. Spend the time needed to identify the key points you want to make. A five-minute presentation will take more time to prepare than a two-hour presentation because every word needs to be chosen carefully and intentionally.
Make eye contact with your audience. In her book “Influence is Your Superpower,” Dr. Zoe Chance refers to shining. Those amazing moments when a speaker connects with the audience at such a deep level that the connection is then reciprocated as people in the audience shine back. These moments are almost magical and are very rewarding.
If you would like to hear more tips on becoming a more effective communicator, please join Marisa Norcross and me for episode 249 of The Next Page podcast. We will discuss simple steps to make your next presentation unforgettable.