Over the past twelve years I’ve had the privilege of presenting the Art of Telling to both college students and business organizations. During each presentation I ask the audience to think of someone they’ve heard speak that they really enjoyed listening to. Then I ask them to tell me the traits the speaker exhibited that they really liked. Over the years I’ve heard thousands of responses to this question. What’s amazing is their answers are always the same. Here’s what they tell me:
- They have a passion for their message.
- They’re well prepared.
- They’re knowledgeable on their subject matter.
- They connect with their audience (listener).
- They tell a good story.
- They use their voices well.
- They make eye contact.
- They’re authentic (they’re not trying to be someone they’re not).
- They’re vulnerable (they show their emotions in a good way).
- They have a sense of humor.
The next time you’re getting ready to make a presentation, whether to an audience of 1, 5 or 500 hundred, think about these effective traits that listeners like to see and hear. Then make them your own. Be well prepared. Have a passion for your message. Make good eye contact. Connect with your listener. And remember that presentations should be built on the listener’s future rather than the presenter’s past. “Don’t tell me about your grass seed, tell me about my lawn.”
Over the summer Gary will continue his blog series on the Art of Telling. He believes that speaking skills are required and acquirable for today’s business professional. The purpose of the Art of Telling blog series is to enable readers to develop the communication and presentation skills that will serve them a lifetime. Click Here to see more on Gary’s Art of Telling programs and seminars.