Credibility Part 1 – What Your Credibility Quotient – CQ – Can Do For You

If you don’t have credibility, will anybody be listening?

When you walk into a room or open your mouth to speak, you are not on zero. The work you have put in before entering and speaking will either amplify or diminish the impact and gravitas of what you say and who “they” think you are. We call this pre-suasional phenomenon, CREDIBILITY

The Crowd.

Your audience are not automatically predisposed to listen to you or take you seriously when you issue a call to action. First, you have to seed the ground, build the tension, and, programme your audience to respond. Ask any successful public performer and they will confirm this – If you just show up and start, everyone will be disappointed.

What is Credibility?

There are many components (when articulating your talent in the form of a story). It exists in the hearts and minds of the listener as a promise, thought, emotion or belief. It is the faith people give themselves in backing you. It is the quotient of trust, loyalty and leverage that you inspire.

What can Credibility do for me?

I am glad you asked.

It gives your words weight. Let’s start with a negative example that too many people have suffered. You will recognize this (and if you don’t, you may be part of the problem.) In a meeting a woman speaks up and makes a valid, salient and actionable suggestion. What happens next? Silence and the train moves on. 15 minutes later, a higher status man makes the SAME suggestion and, this time, the room erupts – Praise, excitement and buy-in follow. HE has saved the day. She does not have leverage in that room. This is not right and it needs to change.

The Answer

Your credibility quotient CQ will lend authority to the words used and suggestions made. It will be listened to, followed, reacted to with respect, and, taken on board as a serious contribution.

Portrait of confident, happy female nurse in hospital hallway

Trust – As an executive, trainer, coach or mediator, you will need to have established a high enough level of trust already if you wish to make your point with impact. The audience must know you have the skills and competence to deliver. They need to feel that you are a positive force amongst them, and, they should hold you in high esteem for keeping your word and performing well in the past. All this will have been established BEFORE you speak.

Credo – When you diligently define your values, essence and purpose, this enables you to articulate them to others and will add depth, width and richness to your reputation. Think about that for a moment. Can it be said of you now? That you stand for something? If so, this means that an audience will listen to you having preselected trust and respect as their default setting. Powerful stuff.

Visible – The whole you, the complex and sophisticated individual that is you is made up of intersectional parts, multiple experiences and emergent values. If you have followed the formula, you and your credibility will come as a package that is accessible to others. (The pragmatic benefit will be the time you save.)

Respect – Everyone has lived a life worthy of note. We have all had to overcome obstacles and carry on. But, the mental shortcuts of unconscious bias or the propaganda of polarising media may have diminished the love you are due. This goes double if you inhabit a marginal or oppressed group. Credibility is the ladder that will get us out of the hole, make us feel whole and let the light shine upon the fully visible version of us – Complete, included, and, represented.

Become a Player – No longer will we sit in the shadows watching the main show acted out by others that possess confidence and privilege, (sometimes masking their lack of depth and competence, and getting away with it.) We will have our time in the sun, and, at the microphone. And, we will be heard.

Inclusion – There exists an overused metaphor – Of being the last one picked for the football team as you stand against the wall with fear churning in your guts. It is an oft-used image because it represents a truth. It does not take much to be overlooked, ignored or side lined. Credibility is the membership pass allowing us to join and belong to key in-groups. It is the door code to influence.

In demand – Dare we go further? Do we want to be listened to and that is it? Have we been standing around outside for too long, excluded; looking in? Is it now time for us to take the lead, make a stand and broadcast our valid, ethical and necessary agenda?

Today, we are surrounded by so many dubious voices that appear to have the herd enthralled and the crowd mesmerized.

It is vital that quiet, marginal voices now speak up. With some investment in building Credibility, important messages and your story will be heard for the first time.

In Credibility Part 2 – We look at the components of credibility

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a Presentation Skills Trainer, Coach and Author, working with a  range of corporate executives and soft skills trainers and coaches.

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Autumn Webinar – What are the 3 Growth Essentials that will get your Training / Coaching Business Moving in 2019 ??

How would you feel if you could find viable and workable solutions to your 3 biggest problems that are currently stopping you growing your training / coaching business?

Where would you reinvest that extra income that you generate in 2019? And, how would the quality of your life and work improve?

And, What extra value would you deliver to your corporate customers enabling them to experience an increase in their profits, performance and passion?

successful young woman winning with both arms up, copy space

New Webinar – Discover the 3 Growth Essentials that will get your Training / Coaching Business Moving in 2019. Tuesday, 16th October 2018 | 6PM, London time | 7PM, Paris time.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

  1. ACTIVITY – This interactive webinar will point out which actions used to work and work no longer. Imagine the time you will save as you divert energy, enthusiasm and your time to modern and high-impact marketing actions that convert strangers to contacts, acquaintances to advocates and LinkedIn connections to paying customers. With the right moves you will interrupt busy professionals to take notice of your authentic message. You will engage with them by speaking THEIR language. You will build a channel to educate them from a place of expertise and you will create a desire in them to access more of YOU.

The measure of your success is simple – when you get your process, branding and communication right, they will “Do as you say and pay as you ask.”

2. ORGANISATION Just because it is simple does not mean than people do it, do it correctly or do it consistently.

From a base of cultural modesty or a fear of rejection, the vast majority of solo-preneurs and small business owners fail to network or hustle sufficiently. They fail to capture data in an effective way. They fail to measure engagement, customer feeling and conversion rates and thus they fail to experience the “drip” of new business as customers come to them as and when the CUSTOMER IS READY.

Remember only 1% – 5% of customers are ready to buy at any one time. The secret is to keep in contact and have a sequence of touch points so that you become trusted and front of mind because you need to be there when THEY ARE READY TO BUY. Put simply, if you stay in contact, you will win further down the road (when everyone else has given up.)

3. DYNAMISM Are you marketing like a 5 Year old? You try everything in an over energetic attempt to change the world in 5 minutes and then collapse in a sweaty heap and declare that life is not fair and that marketing is impossible and does not work?

Modern marketing is about getting organised and then scheduling your activity, your energy and your passion to the best effect. When you develop the mindset of a HUSTLER you will discover how to convert a basic opportunity into a prime one and that means you will access the next level of customer, customer budget and customer decision maker. As you become fluent in the language of modern marketing all your hard work and preparation will actively attract opportunities to your brand, your authentic persona and you will have the chance to articulate your vision and deliver the best of you to the best of the corporate world AND you will qualify OUT the people who will not benefit and qualify IN the elite who will do as you say, pay what you ask and benefit the most from your expertise.

If 2019 is going to be your year what do you need to do? What steps must you take?

TAKE ACTION-

Register now for this complimentary high energy and interactive webinar;

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5002826678569069827

woman working

Will you Go for Growth in 2019?

Bring your questions, your passion and a pen. See you for this important growth webinar.

 

Sexual Harassment Part 3. What IS being done? The Final Part in the Series by Intercultural Mediator – Susanne Schuler

What IS being done?

In Part 1 we looked at the cultural origins of harassment. In Part 2 we expanded on what actually happens. Now, in this concluding piece, we highlight what actions are needed to diminish the occurrence of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Let’s train everybody to be aware…

As a broad corporate response to the emerging crisis (Pandora’s box is now open), a wave of group Sexual Harassment Awareness Training Courses are being spashed over executives. And it is all coming in a rush. Centred on behavioural awareness and compliance (no, the other compliance) they have a very specific tone. Often with stern warnings and containing horrible scenarios, the message is one of shame and blame directed at the vile nature of some male behaviour.

Businessman portrait

But, this rapidly deployed and reactive intervention could prove to be counter-productive.

According to some research, there is a downside to this style of teaching approach. Short, high-pressure, punitive harassment awareness courses, that focus on blame and promise punishment, may actually be delaying the desired change in male behaviour in the workplace. A side effect of the powerful content contained in these courses is construed as a general accusation making all men automatically wrong and covering all male executives with a blanket of condemnation. This, in turn, can contribute negatively to the goal, hindering some men to acknowledge the potential for danger. The confrontational nature of the material shifts them from free dialogue into a defensive and avoidant position, where some begin to justify their actions or chose instead to hide in deep denial.

When a corporate sheep-dip course is rolled out rapidly as a reactive tactic by male management, probably in response to a sexual harassment incident within the company, possibly involving one of their own, an instant cure is not always forthcoming.

Unwanted side effects include seeing men taking refuge in polarity, the strengthening of male in-groups for mutual protection and a general disengagement from the subject, and, thus making resolution less likely to occur. When this approach is taken, especially in competitive and sales driven organisations, where the male hero stereotype has been promoted for years as the company ideal, the company finds that their promoted culture of, “hunt like a predator” cannot be switched off so easily or so quickly.

Maybe you can’t sheep dip a wolf.

So, compliance courses, rushed out to all employees in order to kill off the incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace are not proving a panacea.

Maybe we need to go deeper in our study of the abuse of power by men and look to see how women get caught up in this dynamic.

For women, the current rebalancing of #metoo and #timesup is creating a safe space, beyond shame and silence, for those at the receiving end of abuse, sexual harassment and discrimination. This movement has peer support, allowing the sharing of stories with less judgement and is, at last, letting light shine in upon decades of secrecy, silence and fearful darkness.

It has taken action by women for women bypassing the boardroom, to get proportionate airtime, begin the debate and change the ground rules for both men and women in the workplace.

What now?

Will the repeated and amplified myth of man as a dominant, experienced, decisive, macho, courageous and an all-conquering hero, morph into something safer, more savoury and more appropriate for today’s business world?

Or, will the bastions of male power lash out, take revenge and reclaim their territory?

If the #metoo door is shut again, we can expect a panoply of abuse, a continuance of harassment in the absence of consequences for men and justice for women wronged at work, and, a strengthening of the ultra-male script – look out with dread for the return of the ravishing Viking.

Or, a better Hollywood script… Imagine the scene – On a wild and windy beach… there gather a critical mass of modern office workers, reborn and newly conscious – a promising new generation of aware workers committed to the creation of a healthier work dynamic that shows up in meritocratic reward whilst allowing for transparent flirting, healthy romance and witty in-group humour, and, killing off the exchange of job advantage for sexual favours.

And, when the #metoo wave peaks, then it will be time to advocate for a code of conduct that covers team buddy banter, in-house flirting, work romance and prescribes a moratorium on sexual trading, physical threat and the abuse of power in the work place.

Questions – Will we see a revoking of the free wheeling sex pest’s power pass in the workplace and the rise of self-policing and self-editing male work colleagues who are fluent in the modern work languages of respect, restraint and reasonable behaviour in the workplace?

Or, will the wave pass and the doors be locked again for another 20 years?

Only time will tell.

The new paradigm could be liberating for everybody.

About the Author – Susanne Schuler is an Intercultural Mediator at CEDR, The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London.

Catch up on the Series so far…

Part 2 What Do We See?

https://culture99.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/sexual-harassment-what-do-we-see/

 

Part 1 Where did it come from?

https://culture99.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/sexual-harassment-where-did-that-come-from-an-opinion-piece-by-susanne-schuler-part-1/

 

ELC Teaching Trust Building

New ICE train-the-trainer courses Coming UpIntercultural Competence Training:

Using Both Classroom Techniques and Blended Learning

FRANKFURT / MAIN Saturday 20th / Sunday  21st January 2018

 

Teaching trust-building is important when it comes to preparing professionals and students for intercultural encounters of all kinds. Our focus in doing so lies on first/second/third encounters, since often it is during the initial phase of relationships that trust-building succeeds or fails.

The topics we address in our intercultural training principally focus on ‘difficult’ FUNCTIONS which, in intercultural environments, may prevent a trustful relationship from developing. Typical examples are criticizing, refusing, giving advice, giving/accepting compliments etc. which follow different ’cultural scripts’ and, thus, have been a frequent source of culture-based misunderstanding.

Other DISCOURSE FEATURES addressed in the course are Directness, Enthusiasm, Formality, Assertiveness, Self-promotion, Personal   disclosure etc. which may contribute to mutual trust-building, or the opposite.

Critical issues connected with GENDER, HIERARCHY and CONFLICT are also addressed. Although highly sensitive subjects in any context, they bear particular risks when culture-based values, roles and identities clash.

Case studies are used to demonstrate the importance of appropriate communication both at PERSONAL and ORGANISATIONAL levels. Well-researched examples are e.g. the DaimlerChrysler take-over, the BMW-Rover merger, the LA Riots of 1992 and others. More recent examples include the AirFrance-KLM culture clash, or, as an example of successful intercultural corporate co-operation, the Renault-Nissan collaboration.

The ICE Blended Learning course includes exercises, role plays and case studies to practise a variety of communication strategies both in BRITISH-AMERICAN and in INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH which may help to establish trustful relationships in a great variety of international situations.

Contact ELC; info@elc-consult.com

 

 

 

Gary Thomas – Intercultural Business Trainer/Moderator (IBT/M)® Programme

Billed as “Europe’s most popular, most demanding and most comprehensive intercultural Train The Trainer Programme”

The Next block begins on 13th October 2017 in Freising near Munich.

For more details go to; http://www.international-hr.de/en/intercultural-train-the-trainer-programme.html 

Gary ThomasTrainer, Coach and Speaker – Gary Thomas

10 Presentation Crimes That Your Audience Will Not Forgive – and What YOU can do to stay F-R-R-E-E-E by Matthew Hill

Be Arresting. Don’t Get Arrested!

Having sat through 20+ presentations and talked to fellow audience members at a Congress the other week, I thought I would turn the sometimes tortuous challenge of staying calm sitting in the audience into a What Not To Do List and provide better ways of catering for your audience’s basic Human Rights.

Presentation Skills Course Matthew Hill

Sorry, Urh, hang on a minute…

Normally – More than 65% of the presenters are good and about 10% are excellent – However (always a warning word) however, some seem to be living in the ‘90’s before TED and all those great YouTube videos that clearly spell out how to get audience engagement and knowledge transfer RIGHT.

10 Crimes – The Charge Sheet

1, The Presenter Panics and Runs – Whether thrown off balance by technical issues, a late start of not having rehearsed against the clock, many presenters, including Key Note Speakers manage to get into a sweaty nervous panic during their talks. When you speed up at the end of your slot, your audience know something is amiss. When you admit that time has got away from you and then do not adjust, the audience become anxious on your behalf and when you say, “I will stop now!” 4 times without finishing, the audience will condemn you to presenter hell in your presence. The cost to you of presenter panic is having an audience close their minds with a slamming sound as the barriers drop preventing any further transfer of value. What a pity. What a waste. What a misspending of all that preparation time.

ANSWER

If you rehearse against the clock you can measure your content against the allocated time and therefore regain control. Additionally you may have a section that you can jettison if you experience a time scare. Not right at the end but 50 or 60% of the way through. Also, keep your piece simple enough for the time allocated. A 90 minute monologue simply doesn’t work in 2018 and 20 minutes is not enough time to outline splitting the atom or finding a cure for world hunger.

When you feel scarcity – SLOW DOWN – This will give you time to think, look cool in front of your audience and present the appearance of being in control. We will repeat this later – Your Audience wants you to SUCCEED.

2, Voice Crime. There is nothing worse for the speaker or the audience than someone sat at the back shouting, “We can’t hear you”, ”Please speak up” or, “We can’t hear you at the back.” Beside thinking that they should have turned up earlier and found a better seat, this will distract you from your delivery, dilute your message and divide the audience into those who join in the bullying and those that start to pity you. Both groups are not doing you any favours. Add to the crime sheet the monotone presenter, the mutterer or the huddled script reader and you have a case ready for prosecution.

ANSWER

Singing lessons – Yes, I am serious. If you wish to project your voice, if you wish to raise your volume, if you wish never to loose your voice again during a presentation, join a choir or take individual singing lessons. It will do wonders for your voice quality, your confidence and your connection with the audience.

3, Technical Failure To Appear – In today’s halls and venues, we were treated to the latest and the best equipment but – the presenters with older computers will not always have an HDMI slot, not all corporate trainers have worked with touch screens before and  new Prezi users do not all have enough practice with the application (presumably because they had spent all of their allocated tech time figuring out how to MAKE their first Prezi presentation and had not left enough to practice their show in realistic conditions.) The results were PREDICTABLE. Embarrassing faffing, asking the tech crew for help, delaying the start of the show and demonstrating the presenter’s flaws to the audience before they had managed to accumulate enough credit to afford to appear vulnerable.

ANSWER

Keep your technical level of presentation one level below your technical level of competence. Have a Plan B and back up your data. And don’t expect your venue to have usable WiFi, don’t expect to run YouTube clips live – record them and load them as MP4’s. That way they will run on just about anything. It is the most inexperienced presenters that tend to be the most technically ambitious. Those that have given a few webinars know to expect the unexpected and are able to manage the disruption in technical service with a cool head, an even voice and a smooth transition to the next section of the show.

presentation skills coach matthew hill

Too many words… take him away.

  1. Murder by Slides. The Geneva Convention states that PowerPoint slides must not have more than 20 words on them. Despite this, we see endlessly wordy, small font decks with no visuals, no colour and no useful transfer potential to them. The audience can either ignore the slides or ignore the presenter and start reading the slides for themselves. A lose-lose.

ANSWER

Separate out the desire to present and the need to transfer data and make some tough decisions before you get to the venue – What will you project with your voice and what data will you MAKE AVAILABLE AFTERWARDS in the form of a hand-out / appendix or further reference materials? Understand that slides can be pretty placeholders, a mechanism to reinforce your message with visual people and a good place for graphics, a pie charge or a simple model. However…nobody wants to multi-task during the show so STOP torturing them and plan your information flow more considerately.

  1. Methodology Overdose – Closely related to the point above, in a non- academic context there is ZERO need to reveal the statistical significance of your raw research. The audience have one question for you; WIIFT? What is in it for THEM? How can they apply your experience for their benefit? END of.

ANSWER

As above – offer an appendix, a data hand out or a lab session demonstrating your methods, approach, analysis and technical findings. AND – in your short presentation tell them the interesting bits. How it worked, what the conclusions are and how it can be applied for gain.

  1. The Presenter Got High – Audience Altitude – Finding their Level. There are two crimes here – going too high or staying too low. Both ways will crash your presentation vehicle. If you pitch it too low for too long, you will build up an irritation in your audience that will result in people leaving your talk with a noisy banging of doors or firing sarcastic questions at you that interrupt you and undermine your credibility.

It you pitch it too high the crowd will turn into a Zombie Apocalypse before your very eyes. Take this as natural feedback telling you that you failed to do your homework, identify your audience segment and that you omitted to refine your message enough to hit the target.

ANSWER

Do your homework, speak to some people, interview the organisers and don’t take general answers for the truth. Your job is to engage, inform and entertain. Your job is to tell a story. Your job is to move people intellectually and emotionally. Your job is to prevent suicidal thoughts rippling through the front row.

  1. If It Pleases Your Honour – Time Management – We have dealt with the panic of starting late, not checking the length of your presentation and of lying about when it will end. This aspect is more about the cultural differences in the perception of the flow of time and gaining explicit permission to tell your story. At the beginning of your talk you have 30 seconds to win the hearts and minds of your audience! If you fail, then the rest of your talk can only do damage – to the hopes and dreams of your audience and to your REPUTATION. When you win their support quickly, you will be given 5 minutes grace … to win their enthusiasm for the next 15 minutes! Do you see how it works?

ANSWER

Hit them hard at the beginning – fire a big gun – a moral question, a challenging fact or a brutal prediction – engage your audience and ask, “Do you want to hear more?” They will then award you explicit permission to continue. Really. This psychological contract will become stronger the more they engage with you – the great presenter.

  1. Straying From The Straight And Narrow – There are two ways to leave the path here – audience drift and speaker drift. The former consists of being caught out or taking a side bar because of an audience intervention – through being nice and respecting the audience or the influence of a strong personality sat in the second row, you drift off and ANNOY everyone else. Pleasing a strong personality is not a winning strategy for the whole audience. OR, you get on to your pet subject, leave your own path and start busking (the phrase for making it up as you go along) much to the irritation of the linear focussed listeners in front of you. When you start entertaining yourself, you automatically disrespect the sensibilities of your audience.

ANSWER

Learn to assert yourself and police your audience – Putting a hand up and saying, “Let’s get back on track” is normally enough. If you are likely to wander away from your presentation pathway, build in milestones to remind yourself of the key points that you must make. If you find yourself drifting too wide of those marks, apologise and return to the point.

 

presentation crimes matthew hill

Out of Date Material – Arrest that presenter!

  1. Criminal Exhibit A – Old Material – The older your material, the greater the chance that the audience will have encountered it before or, and worse still, they will have encountered you before, saying the same thing. There is a famous Dutch expert who basically has one keynote speech. Whatever you engage him to speak about, out he will come with his one keynote speech – And it is difficult to get a refund sometimes.

ANSWER

Read, listen and watch. Be present to developments. Watch out for shifts in the direction of your specialist subject and keep your presentation approach fresh, present and alive. It is not a crime to renew your perspective, challenge YOUR OWN beliefs and treat your audience to something EXCITING and challenging.

  1. Old Lag – You Are Not Enjoying It. The voice in your head starts to unsettle you, “Are they really listening to me?”, “ Do they believe a word I am saying?”, “Do they think I look pretty / handsome?” We can develop all sorts of complexes or simply become bored with our own style or topic when we have been presenting too long and need an upgrade – even the best can suffer from imposter syndrome, delusions of paranoia or become completely immune to the charm of their own material and begin to doubt its power to impress.

And. If you are not enjoying the show as a presenter, you can GUARANTEE that the audience are suffering too. Is it time to hand yourself in to the authorities?

ANSWER

At the beginning of any performance it is a safe bet to assume that the audience want you to DO WELL. They are actively looking for signs that you are relaxed, comfortable and up for this. They want to you to win. At the beginning you can assume that most of them LOVE you. All you have to do is not let them down (too badly.)

It is time to work on your material, work out who your ideal and appreciative audience will be and to work on your delivery, presence and voice so that YOU enjoy the show and THEY benefit from listening to you? Is this the time to seek professional help – a presentation advocate to defend your actions and get you off the charge of being a criminal presenter so that you can walk into your next speech a Free Person?

presenting

I sentence you…

The Judge’s Summation

With a little planning, anticipation and rehearsal, you can avoid cabbages and rotten eggs flying through the air, the tarnishing of your reputation as a speaker or hearing negative mumblings as you leave the building.

Remember, presenting represents the single most powerful opportunity to engage with and impress people that you have never met before. Please respect the audience’s patience, attention span, their need for structure, their appreciation of a good story AND their desire for a confident performance from you – THE SPEAKER (defendant.)

I wish you well with you next presentation…

I sentence you to 10 hours Community Presentation Practice – You are free to go…

 

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a Presentation Skills Coach (amongst other things) He works with ambitious professionals who need to impress and desire to be better. Feel free to contact Matthew on; 07540 65 9996.

 

Presentation Disasters and 5 tips to help YOU not make them by Matthew Hill

 

Plug into the audience and let the electricity flow

The gap between a person’s brain, intellect and expertise and their ability to communicate even a small part of this wisdom to an audience can be wider than the Grand Canyon. I remember meeting one of the deepest thinkers on educating people that the UK has ever produced. He was also one of the worst public speakers an audience has ever had to endure. This irony continues to buzz around my mind.

Below are 5 ideas that you can apply to make sure no one says about YOU, “They seem to really know their stuff. It’s a pity their attempt to convey it to the audience is a total failure!”

Smiling newscaster during broadcasting. And here is the news…

  1. It’s not about you – whilst you are the star, standing under the light, mic in hand and dressed to kill, the point of the presentation is to align your information and message to the desired outcomes of the majority of your audience.

Useful questions before you present might be, “What is their level of knowledge?” “What do they expect today?” “What do they want from this session?” And, finally, “What do they really need?”

Before you write a word of your presentation, ask these questions and be mindful of the answers. Also implied in their response is bonus information – What they absolutely DON’T want you to speak about.

Verschiedene Portraits einer blonden Frau

  1. First impressions last – I once tripped over on a stage in Milan in the style of Charlie Chaplin and raised an embarrassingly large laugh from the audience. Unfortunately that was not my intention and things did not flow smoothly from that point on.

An audience will have read your profile and possibly check you out on LinkedIn. They are making an active and tough judgment of you based on your physical appearance. If you are scruffy, ill-prepared to deal with technology, hesitant and showing non-verbal signs of stress, anxiety and fear it is no wonder that the audience will disengage from your private greatness and let their minds wonder to other topics (probably sex and shopping.)

What does it take to make a fantastic first impression?

Dressing one level smarter than your audience, dry cleaning your dark suit, investing in a decent haircut, considering replacing your glasses with contact lenses, practicing Amy Cuddy’s power poses and firing your BIG GUNS first. All of these represent a good start.

Seat on fire

  1. Pleasure or pain? Related to 2. The audience will amalgamate all of the information you are consciously and unconsciously broadcasting and rank you on two exclusive scales.

Power and dominance – your tone, stern look, square shoulders, booming voice and content of doom laden scenarios and facts may give you an impressively high dominance score. Is that what you want?

Likable and trustworthy – A high score on the opposite scale is achieved by displaying charisma, charm, humour, self-deprecation, honesty, integrity and demonstrating your ethical values to the audiences.

Only you can decide which scale is more appropriate your next presentation – Is it time to practice non-verbal charm in the mirror or to rev up your sergeant major impression?

bubble of communication

  1. Words Words Words With everything you say you are either engaging more with the audience or distancing them. You may think that filling your presentation with intellectual complexity, esoteric jargon and obfuscating argot will do the job. Wrong – The simpler you are the more you will connect with the audience and the more they will buy what you are selling.

Speed trumps caution

Many presentation coaches warn that excessive speed of presentation will be perceived negatively. This is not the case (with the caveat that you need an audience speaking the same language as you.) As long as you are clear and loud enough your audience will be taken away by the speed at which you deliver your wisdom. Unlike complexity, speed is perceived as a sign of intelligence.

Fluent slick and smooth

Unsurprisingly, a smooth radio delivery will impress an audience. On occasions it will increase your ratings even when you are having an off day, your brain is addled with tiredness or your mind can only manage to operate at half power.

Listening. “Tell me more”

  1. Everyone loves a story – Every presentation coach is asked what is the best structure for delivering a presentation. It can be a best man speech, a professor’s keynote address at a conference or thanking people at your retirement do. The best way to package information is to give it a familiar dramatic structure – beginning, middle and end, a “V” structure – unleashing tragic chapters that shock your audience followed by an inspiring twist and uplifting ending, or a WW structure like a Dr. Martin Luther King speech that repeatedly takes the audience from the difficult present to a better envisioned future.

Men don’t like emotion.

Whilst there are some coal mining villages where men can only cry if they are one kilometer underground, most humans, irrespective of gender, enjoy having their feelings taken for a spin. It is diverting and stimulating and always will be.

Human Rights

Please respect the human right of your audience not to be bored within an inch of their life. Practice practice practice until you are fluent and can lose yourself in a story that entertains even you, the speaker.

And if you are not a natural comedian, a presentation is not the place to begin your new stand-up career.

Good luck with the next presentation. I hope you WOW the audience and they give you a standing ovation.

Senior Sales and Culture Trainer Matthew Hill

Matthew Hill

Matthew Hill is an Intercultural Trainer, Author, Speaker and Coach working with international audiences to help them uncover their deeper potential and shine in public.

What can YOU do at the SIETAR Congress to change your life?

A Guide to the European Intercultural Event of the Year by Matthew Hill     1, Meeting people With up to 360 people attending the SIETAR Congress in Dublin later in May, There is no better opportunity this year to … Continue reading

5 Ways To Get A Speaking Engagement And, 1 Way NOT To.

5 Methods for More Gigs and More Work One of the best converters of sweat into paid work is by giving speeches to warm, cosy and qualified rooms of decision making, budget holding corporate executives fascinated by your chosen field … Continue reading