The Audience Only Gets What You Give Them

Halloween Mask Iterations

The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” was actually a Captain Kirk mask, painted white, due to low budget.

Did you know that? I sure didn’t – I was so darn focused on how frightening he was. (Although after reading this fact on an airplane, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.)

This is a great reminder that the audience only gets what you give them.

And what do I mean by that?

That amazing analogy you skipped right over? They’ll never know.

The feature you were supposed to highlight with your laser beam, but the batteries stopped working? They didn’t know you had a laser.

The degree of panic and nervous jitters that swarmed in your stomach? Only if you show them through nervous gestures instead of confident ones. If it helps, try to fake it ‘til you become it.

So don’t walk off that stage and kick yourself for forgetting something, and don’t make a big deal when there is a technical snafu. Proceed as usual, and remember that your confidence and will carry you through.

 

Authenticity Trumps All

I haven’t done any empirical research on this, but I’d venture a guess that Chief Information Officers might be the most sold people around. From the dollars going into data centers to security to big data, itself, and don’t forget about the cloud, they – for the most part – … Continue reading

Coordinating Schedules? You Can Do Better.

Ever have the experience where you get an email asking if you and another colleague are willing to talk, huddle, brainstorm or follow up on a new initiative? Contrast these two examples: “Can you meet for 30 minutes on Thursday between 9-11am to discuss the new initiative? If not, give … Continue reading

Upspeak: Destroyer of Credibility

Invisible question marks – ending sentences on a higher pitch is a plague that has seeped from middle school girls into our business communications. Maybe even to yours. Taylor Mali’s Def Poetry Jam explains: I’ve witnessed upspeak at the highest levels of Fortune 100 companies, and I’ve heard it used … Continue reading

Literally – Just a Filler Word

If there were Survivor for words, I’d vote off “literally.” It’s inserted into sentences for no real reason. Consider: I am literally the hungriest person in the world right now. I am literally going to break this printer in a minute. The coffee machine is literally the slowest thing on … Continue reading

Communicating Trust – and the NSA

The NSA blew it, and Ed Snowden changed minds. What a difference communication makes! We were lucky to take part in TED 2014 last week. Of all the ideas shared, the most conversation-spurring topic was privacy: Do we want it? Do we have it? Is it eroding? Are we okay … Continue reading

Ring in the Humor

Bobsled. Halfpipe. Hockey. Figure skating and speed skating. Slalom. Ski jumping. Even curling. With 3 young boys in the house, we watched a lot of Olympic coverage this year. My personal favorite moments are always the opening and closing ceremonies, and I was floored at this year’s closing ceremony. Of … Continue reading

Sneeze Season: How to Present When You’re Sick

A few weeks back I had to fend off cold/migraine as I gutted my way through a lengthy presentation. It would have been nice to reschedule. Sometimes that’s just not possible. You, too, may find yourself having to battle your symptoms while presenting. Beyond “drink lots of fluids,” here are … Continue reading

Green Means Go

Do you remember the movie Gone in 60 Seconds? Even if you remember it as a bad movie, it’s a good reminder about how quickly we can lose our audience. The first 30-60 seconds of our presentations, speeches or reports are always the hardest part. Physiologically, it’s when our hearts … Continue reading

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

“Considering the inherent value of every person on the planet, I optimistically envision a future where all people are treated equally regardless of what they look like or in what part of the country they live.”    - Not what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said Ever wonder why TED … Continue reading