Did you ever notice how effective many musicians are at communicating?
OK, I know not all of them are (Ryan Adams, I’m thinking of you) but the real stars are experts at it. Most of them have a great mix of talent and training in communicating well.
So what is it that makes them great? Joseph Lalonde is going to answer that below. He is a youth leader at Oak Crest Church of God and an awesome writer. He usually writes at his blog, where he shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader, but today we’re blessed by his wisdom here. I encourage you to connect with him on Twitter as well. He’s got some good stuff in both places.
Take it away Joe…
Can you remember the last time you went to a rock concert?
The music was loud. The crowd was excited. The singer may have shared a few words.
There was energy in the room. People were ready to listen to the guys on stage.
They couldn’t wait to get what the band offered.
Have you been able to create an energy like this in your organization? My guess is most likely not.
Your presentations may be dull. They don’t catch the attention of the audience. And those who heard you speak may not remember what you said.
If you’re there, I’d like to encourage you to begin communicating like a rock star. It could change the way you communicate forever.
This is the humorous, painful, and probably not very instructional story of a presentation gone horribly wrong.
I recently tweeted this and Erik Fisher gave me the idea to post about this:
Below is how things went down. What came from the debacle was a side chat with one colleague and a group chat with the rest. I have changed their names but the comments are copied and pasted from our Skype windows.
I hope that you laugh. I hope that you cringe (in a good way). And I hope that you learn something. I’ll settle for laughing and cringing though.
Time for the meeting to begin. I’ve cleared my schedule for an hour and I am ready for some learning. The topic is dealing with fraud in affiliate marketing and how this particular vendor can help.
We chat amongst ourselves for two minutes then settle down in expectation of the arrival of the presenter. No arrival.
For now, I am going to assume that you don’t work with idiots.
With that safely assumed, if you do what I suggest below in your next meeting, it will work. (If it doesn’t, my assumption is wrong)
How many times have you sat through an hour-long presentation or meeting that ended like this:
Meeting Leader: Any suggestions?
Group: (Silence for three seconds. Awkward glances around the room. Some are already packing up.)
Leader (after waiting the entire three seconds): OK then, see you next week.
Really? Not a single person has a suggestion?
Again assuming that you don’t work with idiots, how is this even possible?
You wake up standing naked in front of the class.
A ravenous lion is chasing you across the Serengeti.
Living on the streets with no money, no food, and no clothes.
Cancer. Falling from a tall building.
Those are your greatest fears, right?
Not according to studies which show that the most common fear people have is public speaking.
Odds are if you are reading this, at some point in your life you will have to deliver quite a few public speeches and Dan Erickson can help you. He is a “communication instructor” at a community college by trade. He is also a writer and blogs at www.danerickson.net.
My most important presentation was lacking in three big ways.
Despite having spent three weeks preparing my slides (which was wrong as I point out in part one yesterday), they still lacked three critical pieces. If you have not read part one, do so now. I discuss the worst mistake I made in delivering my presentation. Most people make the same mistake. I also offer six tips for fixing that mistake.
So what was wrong with my slides? Why did they lack clarity and effectiveness?
Mistake Two: My slides weren’t readable. Ever tried to read 12-point from fifteen feet away? Ever left a presentation with a screaming headache? Not only did I try to cram too much on one slide, rather than write in bullets as I suggested yesterday, but the text I had was unreadable.
You probably suck at PowerPoint presentations.
I know this because almost everyone does. No offense. If you are the exception, I really want to hear from you in the comments below.
You probably suck at PowerPoint presentations. Here’s how not to. (Click to Tweet)
I sucked for thirty-one years. Until the day I delivered a presentation so awful, I knew I had to change quickly.
It was the presentation I had planned for three weeks. It was to be the moment that I inspired my team, changed the course of our company, and…there was an audible thud from Nashville to each of the coasts. I was that bad.
What mistakes did I make and what can you learn from them?
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