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.

 

How to Rock an Acceptance Speech

Every time you speak, you create an experience for your listeners – whether they are your colleagues, kids, PTA or soccer team. In the case of Oscar acceptance speeches, it is no different. What is said and how it’s said combine to create either a this-is-a-great-time-for-a-bathroom-break or a riveting, tear-jerking, … Continue reading

The Life of the Panel

So many of our clients inquire about how to lead a panel, how to be a part of a panel, and/or how to be a moderator. We’re always looking for examples, and when you can – follow the example of a rock star. When Bill Clinton was late to a … Continue reading

What Do I Do with My Hands?

You’re standing at the front of a room of people. All eyes are on you. You know your content – phew. But there’s a nagging question that jumps to mind… (cue the video, below) We don’t advocate the politician gesture, and we’re not out to make everyone in business into a … Continue reading

Lightening Up!

True or False: To be taken seriously, you have to be serious? False. People buy on emotion and justify with fact. Whether we’re presenting at a quarterly business review (QBR), in front of your board or simply touching base in a one-on-one meeting, we have to be light! But don’t just take … Continue reading

Should I Be Likable or Influential?

Actually, you can be both – and you should try to be both. When you’re likable, you’re almost automatically more influential. As Bert wrote in You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard, “The likability factor dominates in politics. It dominates in business. And it dominates in our day to day lives. … Continue reading

Fake It Till You Become It

Several of our program leaders use the phrase, “Fake it till you make it” when they are coaching. I prefer to raise the bar on that challenge. Do as social psychologist and HBS Professor Amy Cuddy says: Fake it till you become it. Amy’s TED talk is filled with reasons … Continue reading

We’re Exci-TED.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: TED Conference Time. As participants in #TED2013 Live, we’ve been privy to this year’s ideas worth spreading. With so many ideas (over 84 different talks in 4 days) – which ones do we remember most? Those that were well-communicated, of course. Fact: … Continue reading

Audience Analysis: Nonverbal Cues & Clues

You’re out to dinner with friends, and one of them is in the midst of telling a great story. She’s gesturing wildly, her intonation ebbing and flowing, her energy rising as the story builds. Just as she’s about to reveal the climax, here comes a waiter to cut her off … Continue reading

The Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2012

The 17th Annual Top Ten Communicators List features noteworthy successes and failures – reminding us that strong communication skills are essential. Punctuated by the summer Olympics and the election, 2012 featured many messages to rally support. Another key theme of this year was technology, with respect to both industry leadership … Continue reading