LinkedIn is such a fabulous network to get reconnected with people. Just recently, Saul Jacobson commented on one of my group posts. We had met many years ago and it was such a neat exchange of emails. In his comments, Saul generously offered to share this article with my readers and I think that at some point, we’ve all been submitted to the oration of a less than engaging speaker.
Last night I went to a network marketing business presentation.
I go to a lot of them. Almost every one that I’m invited to actually. I like to keep track of what’s going on in the industry, but primarily I go to watch the presenters.
My visits to watch presenters also include churches, schools, trade shows (the guy selling the pots and pans is usually the best) and anywhere else someone stands at the front of a room and delivers a message.
There are several non-negotiable rules for presenters. Probably the most important two are:
1. Have something of value to say. If not, say nothing.
2. Be prepared.
The presenter last night broke both of those rules and a multitude of others that we won’t get into at this time. Suffice it to say he provided me with fodder for dozens of posts on this blog.
When someone walks up to the front of the room, gets the audience in their seats and then introduces you, the perception is that you are an “expert”. The belief is that you will say something important and that you will say it in a fashion that is warm, intelligent and perhaps occasionally witty.
The gentleman at the front of the room started by reaching into the pocket of his suit jacket and pulling out a typewritten script. I wanted to leave at that point but my wife said it wouldn’t be polite. As usual, she is my moral compass.
He then began reading from the script. Reading. Not speaking. Not presenting.
Don’t get me wrong. He read very well. He pronounced all the words correctly.
But here’s what he non-verbally conveyed to everyone in the room. ”This information isn’t important enough to me to require me to deliver it in a professional manner”.
Master presenters know that the vast majority of people are scared to death of speaking in front of a group.
It’s okay to be nervous. It’s not okay to read from a script.
Practice it. Practice it hundreds of times. Practice it in front of a mirror. Ask friends or family members to sit through a rehearsal.
Do what you need to do, but make sure when you get in front of that business crowd or classroom or congregation that you know it by heart. And that you can deliver it from the heart.
The presenter last night noticed me in the room and came over after the meeting to introduce himself and asked what I thought of his presentation.
I told him it was very enjoyable.
But I already mentioned that my moral compass was standing beside me.
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