Dana  Bristol-Smith

Article Summary:

This public speaking tip outlines how effective speakers inspire others by their personality, passion, and purpose.

Public Speaking Tip: Bring Your Personality, Passion, and Purpose

As I was sitting next to a friend, experiencing a particularly moving Sunday talk by our minister, my friend leaned over and asked if I could teach someone to present like our minister. I surprised myself and said No. I explained that that kind of presenting involves Personality plus Passion, steeped in Purpose. And, only if all three were present, was someone able to present in such an engaging and dynamic way.

As we take a look at each of the P's: Personality, Passion, and Purpose - think about how you present and how you'd rate yourself in these three areas.

Do you bring your personality with you when you present? Or, do you, like many presenters, leave it at home? What do you believe about the style in which you deliver presentations? Do you believe that you have to be serious - or that people won't take you seriously if you smile? I can't tell you how often I see serious and dull (they seem to go together) presenters.

In a recent High Impact Presentations workshop, a woman shared with the group that she had been told early in her career that in order to be taken seriously, as a woman, she should communicate in a serious manner. During the first part of our program, as she presented personal information, she had a great smile, was energetic and animated, and very engaging. However, when she delivered her business presentation - her personality was gone! It had evaporated and what remained was a serious and almost dull presenter. Where had her smile and energy gone? They had disappeared! When you deliver your presentations, bring your personality with you!

You might be thinking, I'm naturally shy and do not like to stand out in a crowd and don't have an outgoing personality. What should I do? If that's the case, you'll need to, as Emeril the Louisiana chef says, kick it up a notch.

Be willing to be more expressive - smile, project your voice so that everyone can hear you and so that you sound confident. And, if you are naturally outgoing, use that strength that you have as you speak with your audience. If you naturally use gestures as you speak, keep on using them. Most gestures are effective when presenting to a group. It's usually when we try and hold back our gestures that we end up looking unnatural and stiff.

Are you passionate about what you present? If not passionate, are you at the least, interested and engaged? If not, your audience won't be either. Your enthusiasm and interest needs to reach out and touch your audience. If you don't believe in, or are not engaged by what you present, you might as well call in sick - or use another tactic to avoid the presentation. Audiences want to be engaged by you, and in order to be engaging, you'll need to tap into and share your enthusiasm, passion, and interest in the subject you are presenting.

As my minister so deftly demonstrates each Sunday, purpose is a strong driving force for powerful presenting. It may not be your life's purpose to give a business presentation, but what within your content connects with your purpose, or that of your company? How can you connect to the bigger picture and purpose? Are you an evangelist for your company's new product or service? Do your company's products improve the quality of people's lives? Save lives? Make significant improvements to efficiency or productivity?

When you connect what you say to your organization's purpose, you will be highly engaging and effective.

I know that you want to be the type of presenter that audiences enjoy and are engaged by. In order to be that presenter, make sure to tap into the Power of the 3 P's - Personality, Passion, and Purpose - don't leave home without them!

Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. She is the author of Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking interactive manual. Dana works primarily with managers, sales and technical professionals and has delivered presentations and training to more than 100,000 people since 1992. For more information, visit Speakforsuccess.net

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