If you’ve ever been put in a speaking situation where you had the steering wheel of an event that required people to have fun, rather than just listen and absorb?
Some of my most memorable speaking memories have been exactly those. In my case, it was emceeing an event that required audience participation — bringing people up on stage, engaging with them and allowing them a moment in the spotlight and a chance to leave with their own memories.
Every speaking opportunity is a chance to connect and create an impression that stays in the head of those who walk out the door long after you’re done. I have one goal every time I speak — to have fun myself and make sure the audience is right there with me.
People want to connect with a speaker. They really do. They want to relate. They want to see the best of YOU. So how can you make that impact? How can you present the best version of yourself that delivers “connection?”
THREE THINGS will allow you to deliver your own brand.
YOUR PERSONAL EXPERTISE
Remember, you were chosen for the stage for a reason. You’ve done something worthy, been part of company successes and built a resume along the way that is unique to you. It’s yours. Share with people. Let them know your successes and experiences and also your failures. That shows your value and your authenticity.
YOUR PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Everyone has an opinion about something. Learn how to share yours and weave commentary into your conversation with the audience. That stuff is memorable. I’m always interested in people who stand for something or have strong feelings about something, or a vision about how to achieve something. Your vision is yours alone. While others may share your vision, your delivery is tied directly to how they receive it.
YOUR PERSONAL STORY
Every keynote I do includes audience participation. I share my story — the kid who grew up only wanting to be a broadcaster, making his own 4-page “sports page” and delivering it on my block because I felt the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times weren’t delivering enough coverage and I wanted to share my own ideas.
After I take it to where I am today, I challenge those in the audience to answer the question, “Who are YOU, and why should we care?” Most haven’t thought about their own value, let alone their personal story, because they don’t know if it’s “worthy.” But everyone has a story. Find a way to toss it into the mind of your audience, because it gives people a chance to know you and why you were chosen to deliver philosophy and experience.
The CEO of a major global corporation once told me that he didn’t really like delivering “keynotes” because he felt like he was “just talking.” He said he much preferred a moderator and the ability to answer questions that lead into his company story and personal message. He wanted the interaction of a Q&A because he felt it humanized him as a person and helped to add credibility to his message. He felt he was talking with people instead of to people.
So, I’ll leave you with this. The next time you get the stage and the time, prepare to connect as much as you prepare to convince. Personality wins every time.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @KraigKann and here’s hoping I’ll have the chance to connect with your organization in the near future! I’m so honored that @KannAdvisory was noticed by Forbes as a noteworthy new business venture. Link to the article below:
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: The minute you think you don’t have your own personal brand is the very minute you’ve devalued your personal and professional existence. Find a way to show them who you are as much as what you know.