There are a lot of technically perfect people in this world. Don’t be one of them.
I’m not saying that technical expertise isn’t needed. I wouldn’t want a brain surgeon without it. But if that’s all you have, you’ll always be less than great, no matter how proficient you are.
As a presenter, and even as a brain surgeon, if you don’t also show compassion, respect and even love for the other person, no matter how good you are, you aren’t.
The other day, we had a technically perfect customer service agent “help” us. She absolutely knew how to input information into her computer to offer us options to our weather related missed connection to Shanghai, China. But she didn’t care if we got there or when we got there.
Why am I writing about this? Because you can be the most prepared presenter in the planet but if you don’t care if the people you’re having a conversation with learn, if you don’t make the environment safe and friendly and respectful and loving and compassionate, all the expertise in the world won’t matter. Your listeners – your customers, learners, co-workers, owners, patients – want you to care about them, their success, their situation. The more they know you care, the more they want to learn.
Malcolm Knowles, in his book, The Adult Learner : A Neglected Species wrote, “As soon as the presenter makes the switch to being more concerned for the people in the seats than about him/herself, that’s when the magic starts to happen. When people… stop thinking about the way they look or sound, and become more invested in what the audience takes away, they become powerful presenters.”
Prepare and practice your next presentation so you can forget about yourself and focus on them.