A Land of Confusion
You want to effectively give presentations so you can influence and persuade listeners to a new way of thinking (and acting). This is good.
If you’re like most people, when you give a presentation, you struggle to persuade others, much less leave a lasting impact on them.
It’s not your fault because most public speaking goo-roos confuse you with conflicting advice and the belief, “There’s only one way to do this.”
Discovering how to effectively speak in your authentic voice can be confusing and frustrating enough without these contradictory ideas.
Because of this, you’re probably feeling frustrated or even disillusioned about getting it right.
You don’t have to feel lost or confused anymore!
Follow these three simple steps (taken from my soon-to-be-released book, Stop Telling Just ANY Story!) to public speaking influence so you can enjoy connecting with and impacting your audiences over and over again!
Step 1: Know Your Message FIRST
I’ve encountered many coaches who believe delivery is the most important aspect of a presentation. They’ll tell you, “Without energy or a dynamic delivery people won’t be engaged and won’t remember your story.”
I respectfully, but strongly disagree. Think about the most memorable stories you’ve heard, whether in a book, movie, or speech. Did they leave a lasting impression on you solely based on an enthusiastic delivery?
No. A combination of a meaningful message delivered in an authentic and energetic manner makes the story stick with you. Without well-thought-out words wrapped around a central idea, your story will be forgotten.
Consider famous stories or speeches from the last century, like Dr. King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 or President Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall in 1989. What do we remember about them?
Is it their hand gestures?
Is it how they walked on stage?
Or, do we remember their eloquent words spoken with passion and conviction?
Focus on internalizing your message before you work on your delivery.
Step 2: Ignore This Oft-Repeated Myth About the Power of ‘Non-Verbal’ Communication
For over a half-century speakers and so-called experts have repeated a myth about the importance of words in our communication. The myth is this:
Words only make up 7% of the overall impact of your communication; the other 93% is based on non-verbals — body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
But many people, including highly paid and well-respected speakers and authors continue to perpetuate this myth. Why?
Because of the gross misinterpretation of a study conducted in 1967 by Dr. Albert Mehrabian. The study focused on a small sample size of students at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Mehrabian and his team determined that when the words you use are in conflict with the tone of voice with which they’re spoken and the speaker’s facial and body expressions, the listener will believe the words only 7% of the time.
In other words, when your words are in conflict with what your body and voice are conveying, people believe what they see more than what they hear.
The key to the study is the incongruity of words and body language. Which makes sense.
What the study did not say is, “Under all circumstances, communication is only 7% of the words you use.” These results have been so twisted and turned in the last half-century Dr. Mehrabian felt compelled to conduct interviews and make a statement on his website explaining, “No, the study does not claim only 7% of communication is the words you use.”
The words you use are as important as how you deliver them IF they have meaning. When you think about Dr. King, do you first hear the words he so eloquently spoke, or do you picture what he was doing with his hands?
When you hear President Reagan saying, “…tear down this wall” do you think about his eye contact or the power of his message?
The reason their words still resonate is because they were delivered with congruence, passion, and conviction. Their voices, bodies, and words were in alignment, and the words definitely account for more than 7% of the impact they still have on us.
The perpetuation of this myth leads to my third point….
Step 3: Get Your Facts Right, or Immediately Lose Credibility
As a leader, speaker, or sales professional, you MUST check every fact you share with others. Today’s audiences have information readily available at their fingertips. Literally.
They can fact-check you on their cell phones while you’re speaking. If a quick Google search contradicts what you’re saying, at the least you’ll lose credibility with those individuals, and possibly your entire audience if they challenge what you’ve just said.
If this happens, and you can’t overcome their challenge, your credibility with that audience will be destroyed.
For several years, I listened to speakers tout the 7% Rule as gospel. And it never made sense to me. I’d think about memorable lines from some of my favorite speeches — Dr. King stating, “I have a dream,” President Kennedy telling a nation, “We go to the moon not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard” or President Reagan’s challenge, “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall.”
And I never bought into the 7% claim. So, I researched it. Sure enough, the original source, Dr. Mehrabian, confirmed my suspicions.
I’ve heard too many speakers who otherwise gave powerful and impactful presentations but mentioned this 7% Rule. They immediately lost credibility with me because I wondered, “If they’re sharing that piece of misinformation, what else is incorrect in their talk?
It also makes me think the speaker is lazy — at least from a research standpoint — and isn’t an original thinker.
You’re reading this because I want you to avoid the embarrassment I felt early in my speaking career. I was a financial planner and made the mistake of sharing investment information I hadn’t double-checked. And an audience member questioned me about my “facts.”
When it was obvious this person was right and I was wrong, I lost the trust of the audience. No one sought me out after the event for an individual meeting and a lot of my company’s time and money was wasted, even though the rest of my presentation was true.
One mistake over a piece of misinformation cost me the opportunity to attract new business, and more importantly have a positive impact on all of the people who were in the room that night.
Never forget every audience you speak to will have people in it who know a lot about your topic. Don’t ruin your credibility by sharing information you haven’t double-checked.
Stop ZOOM Burnout Now!
Virtual presentations are now a permanent part of our life. In the middle of yet another COVID surge, we’re once again spending much of our day online.
Because of this, many speakers and audiences are complaining about “ZOOM fatigue.” And research is showing this may be a real condition.
But, ZOOM or the camera isn’t the only cause of this situation. The biggest culprit is bad online presentations. Too many speakers are treating the camera like a live audience, and this is the root cause of the problem.
Therefore, to help you avoid this fate, we created a new report. If you want to master the skill of virtual presentations, provide maximum value to your listeners, and stand out from the crowd, I invite you to download this complimentary report. It includes 34 insights into becoming effective at this skill.
To download your copy of, ‘Stop ZOOM Burnout Now!’ CLICK HERE