About the Instructor
Inside the Dynamic Presenter
by Ken Bradford
Component One. They don't like making presentations. They like making memorable presentations.
What is a memorable presentation? I believe it is one that not only involves us mentally, but also stimulates us to feel something. If the speaker wants others moved by his message; he must be the first person moved.
But what if he can't? What if he can't get that interested in what he's doing? Then let him take his place with the vast majority of presenters who are emotionally disconnected from the subject.
Great speakers are the message. They realize it, not memorize it. It is a dream bigger than them, but contained within. When they share it with us it is not just a presentation. It is a brief tapping of their core, their truths spilling over at us, flowing forcefully into our consciousness.
What is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Component Two. They know the enemy is sameness.
Listeners like organized information, but they love change. A psychologist once told me that the human mind craves two inputs - organization and chaos. Hardly a surprise, then, that the Greatest Show on Earth has surplus entertainment simultaneously unfolding in three orderly rings on the circus floor. How does the dynamic speaker include organization and chaos into every presentation? By numbering each point while wearing a clown outfit? Hardly.
Dynamic speakers simply remember what it's like to be in the audience and then they structure the performance to fill the need. Audiences have short attention spans, and they're getting shorter. They're already full of data, so they filter almost everything to keep from having more to digest.
Replacing what they are already thinking with your message is challenging, but possible if you think about it first. What gets inside must be inherently more interesting or delivered in a stimulating manner so that it supersedes whatever they are already thinking about. Few communicators can hold audience attention for more than twenty minutes using only words. Think how hard it would be for you to sit and watch a radio, for example. Variety is what helps you hold an audience's attention.
And never blame the subject matter as the reason people fall asleep.
Variety is still the spice of life -McCormick
Component Three. They use the tools of persuasion.
If you can speak to groups you can get by, but if you can skillfully communicate, you can work miracles. -Jim Rohn
Component Four. They understand the enormous attraction of being vulnerable.
People relate to people. We see ourselves in other's strengths, weaknesses, feelings and fears. Speaking in a guarded, professional manner may seem like a good idea, but it buries our personality, vitality, and uniqueness. Nothing is more bonding than when the speaker shares an unrehearsed innermost thought. They may have heard everything before, but they have never heard your personality giving your opinion on the subject.
Dynamic presenters can hush the negative inner voice that asks, "If they really knew me would they still like me?" Unless you're a serial killer or complete crook, the answer is probably yes, but they will never be able to form an opinion or have a lasting impression of you if you hide who you are. Loathe facades.
Dare to be yourself - your best self!
Component Five. They try to avoid sin.
Speaking sins kill rapport and create barriers. Ten of the deadliest are:
1. Expecting the slides to explain or sell the message 2. Reading lengthy text or bullets to an audience. 3. Repetitious useless words like "uh" and "like". 4. Poor use of eye contact and a neutral facial expression. 5. Predictable gestures and body movement without purpose. 6. Lack of logical direction or intent due to improper planning. 7. Monotone, narrow voice range or lack of energy. 8. Too many overheads or slides. 9. Going overtime without consent. 10. Lack of a sense of humor.
Dynamic speakers make it look simple and easy while they're up there. Professionals always make it look effortless, but under the surface they're paddling like mud-ducks to hit every point. No one is born with effective speaking skills. Personality may be inherent, but learning to use the above tools takes a little time and practice, as does any skill.
But in the middle of learning something difficult lies opportunity. The person who dares to learn to communicate in a dynamic and effective way, especially during uncertain times as these, is certain to inherit the future.
Then the world's my oyster. -Shakespeare
Ken Bradford is the founder and instructor of The Leaders Course® in effective speaking and human relations.
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