Ever sat in a seminar and thought “What am I doing here?”
“I’ve got so many things to do?”
You’re probably wondering what time it is or what’s for lunch. Your mind is everywhere but where it should be, listening to – another boring presentation.
And this is only because the speaker is droning on with the facts and figures, as if its a legal document to be approved, no real life. “But I am a professional, that is what we do”. Does this sound like one of your corporate events? A true right brainer, regurgitating facts and figures. Now ask your self what’s missing? What would make it more interesting?
Wait, don’t answer that just yet. Listen to this…….
So, imagine this! Your standing there, the audience waiting. Your knees start knocking, hands are sweating and your
head pounding – How do you start?
Lee sat on the stage with a big smile on his face, with big white teeth gazing and panning the audience. He then stepped into the crowd, testing his microphone, “Okay guys, let’s talk, is this your first time here?” He was not like most speakers who would have gone straight to the lectern to talk from his notes. He was gauging the audience and commanded attention. His next words were, “I am American, from Brooklyn, with a British accent”. All heads turned responding to the powerful voice. Lee said, “Are you ready for a great 2016?” I am not telling you anymore. All I can say, you should have been there. For the next two and a half hours he had the audience eating out of his hands, participating in every word.
Everyday we participate in our world by experiencing a million moments that give us meaning and shape our thinking. Yet still, we ignore them, as if they are not real. The treasure of thoughts and imagination lie within us, dormant, in need of awakening. Our real power and spice lies in what we can recall, relive and retell, revealing moments that we share through our imagination, our personal story. Our everyday story holds the key or process for people to know, like and trust us. So that we can do business.
A great speaker always has stories that will engage, educate and entertain the audience. Remember the power of 3, well this is the 3E’s, no, not drugs. I guessed what you were thinking just then.
So lets start…..
It’s a business meeting, why do I need a story to engage the audience?
Life happens outside of your meeting or business. Our minds are in constant recall, reliving and remembering what
happened at home, last night, on the bus or on the train. This does not stop because you are about to speak. So how
do we break the pattern, get people to focus on the now? Your audience need to know that you are human just like
them with the same feelings. A personal story of your own experience can convey that very quickly.
Use the personal story to convey a message, make a point. That will provide a point of reflection for your audience to
think. Lee did just that. He told a story of growing up on the projects in Brooklyn, no college education. But
his life changed when someone took him to a seminar and he heard other people’s story.
Never underestimate your delivery, tone and mannerisms. The humour will uncover itself as long as you are being
your authentic self. Lee’s mention of his British accent and attempt to speak with that accent made the audience
laugh. Did not seem planned or contrived.
Your presentation may just be missing that single ingredient. It’s right, technically correct but missing your imagination and story to give it life.
A treasure-trove of imaginative powers lie within us all. These powers often lie stunned and dormant, yet to awaken
the pictures that lie in our story-imagination is to become more fully and radiantly alive. (Nancy Mellon)