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.

 

Where It All Begins: Your Listeners

You can’t pass go, you can’t collect $200 (let alone $20,000 or $200,000 for your next initiative) if you haven’t gone through the first step: That’s right. Rephrase your agenda to meet theirs, instead. Since our goal is to influence others and to persuade them to take action, we can’t … Continue reading

Crisis Communication: Power of Your Voice

While I was driving to work, I was listening to the morning news on the radio. During a report about the latest Ebola outbreak, I was shocked to hear a voice of calm – it was a doctor and scientist with great bedside manner. Check out the audio from this … 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

A Real MVP

Before this week, I only knew Kevin Durant as a prolific NBA scorer and a star from the movie Thunderstruck (a family movie that my boys love). After watching his MVP speech, I now feel differently. You may or may not know (or like) Kevin Durant, but your attitude will … Continue reading

Commencement Speech: How to Rock It

As April showers make way for May flowers, graduates prepare to turn their tassels and toss their hats in the air. But what happens first? The commencement speeches, of course! For the grad, leader or educator preparing for a commencement speech, I bring you a special “how to” guide for … Continue reading

Establishing Executive Presence

The phrase “executive presence” is not new, but it’s gaining traction. I heard it referenced in seven meetings with executives from seven different companies last week, alone. What does it mean? It’s a way to describe confidence. Not to be confused with arrogance, demonstrating executive presence means showing that we … Continue reading

Influence with a Point of View

What’s your point of view? It’s not a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have” – and let me tell you why: It’s hard to argue with getting better results. But don’t just take my word for it. Recently, a self-proclaimed “Decker Super-Fan” (for reference – she’s taken Communicate … 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