Be an Influential Presenter: Have Passion and Use Dynamic Examples

When we are asked to give a presentation — a keynote, a workshop, a sales presentation, or lead a meeting — one of our primary goals is to influence our listeners in some way. What are the tools, methods, attributes and attitudes that will help us to become powerful, influential presenters?

Have Passion for Your Topic If You Hope to Influence.

  • I have talked about having a passion for your topic before, but I feel it can’t be said enough. If we don’t care about our topics, how can we ever expect to influence others? Last year I attended a Security Summit intended for technology types. However, the presenter who was the most passionate and frightened me the most wasn’t a “techie” at all.
  • He was a passionate writer and speaker about airline security. He started by pointing out that security strategy isn’t any different from computer technology security. By showing the similarities of approaches and the need to think backward, “with the mind of a terrorist,” he showed clearly that “security is security” and the more secure we think we are by creating additional layers of security, we aren’t becoming safer.
  • Before you accept a presentation assignment, be truthful about your passion or lack of passion for the topic or the product. You may be able to entertain the listeners, but without passion, you will never be able to influence them.

Make Use of Dynamic Examples for Influence

At the Security Summit, the most dynamic example was as unnerving, and yet as easy to follow as an example could be. The security guru for airline safety talked about all of the new layers of safety measures that have been initiated since 9/11 — the airport check-through lines, the undercover agents on the planes, the pilot’s gun and the heavy security door to the cockpit that is bullet proof and locks from within the cockpit.

He then walked out of the room, closed the door and proceeded to knock on it, until someone let him back in (people assumed that the door had locked him out). He then asked how many in the room had flown recently and had noticed that the heavy security door was open throughout the flight, or had been opened for the pilot to use the restroom at the back of the plane.

He illustrated that in this situation we have made it easy for the terrorists. Now only one — not three — terrorist sitting toward the front of the plane who is quick and trained in the martial arts can dash through the open door, shut it to everyone else, surprise and overwhelm the pilot, take his gun, shoot those in the cockpit, and he is clear to fly the plane into any building he wishes. Were we all influenced by this demonstration? You bet.

You see, as long as you’re passionate about your topic and your examples are dramatic, you will be remembered as an influential presenter.

Presents For Christmas – Pay it Forward

As we approach the Christmas season, “the most wonderful time of the year”, we are usually overwhelmed with all that has to be done to make this Christmas the “perfect one.” Of course we know in our minds that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, but in hearts many of us still hold out for one.

The shopping, decorating, entertaining, baking, etc seems to get more demanding each year. For some by the time Christmas Day is close the thought is “I’ll be glad when it’s over.” There is little or no joy in our hearts; we have forgotten what we are really supposed to be celebrating-the birth of Jesus.

During the Christmas season we send and receive cards with the message “peace on earth, good will toward men, and sing carols with the same sentiment. Yet, what do we do that helps accomplish this worthy attitude? Too often we tend to think that peace is something that only diplomats and politicians can bring about. I love the line “let it begin with me” in the hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

This Christmas season could be one where we do something that would make a difference. Maybe we can’t sign a peace accord but perhaps we can make a difference in our little corner of the world. Sharing a little joy with someone may be just the place to start.

I recently read of a family, who for a number of years, have celebrated a unique version of The Twelve Days of Christmas to share their joy with. Each year they choose a family or individual to honor during this time. Then starting December 13 they wrap up a simple gift and put a line of greeting with it. They take the gift to the chosen one and leave it at the front door. They then ring the doorbell and very quickly run away.

The gift has no sender’s name on it so the recipient doesn’t know who sent it. This is repeated every night until December 24 when the sender lets the recipient know who they are. At this time they encourage the recipients, who are always delighted with what has transpired, to do the same thing for someone the next year.

There are so many things we can do to spread joy. Giving presents we purchase in a store is not the only way we can spread joy and goodwill toward our fellowmen. Often, the most important thing we can do is give our time. Many people are troubled and or lonely and just need someone who will take the time to listen to them. A simple note or card to a homebound person can brighten the dreariest December day. A smile or a friendly hello at the grocery store may be the only real communication with another person someone has all day.

The Christmas season is also a good time to mend relationships that may have gone awry. It really doesn’t matter who caused the rift, if it bothers you then you can be the one to try for reconciliation. One person can make a difference; if we are trying to spread peace and goodwill then we can sing the carols and send the cards really meaning the words.

Betsy R. Mclean loves Christmas and everything about it. She love decorating the tree and house, buying those special presents for loved ones and friends and stitching throughout the year on needlework projects that celebrate Christmas. Betsy believes that cherished Christ memories last a lifetime. Visit her site. Letters from Santa Claus [http://lettersfromsantaclaus.info/]

Wedding Presence and Wedding Presents

It’s the summer and your mailbox lately has at least one or two wedding invitations in it a week – if not more. You are flattered that you seemingly are so popular and that your friends, colleagues, even acquaintances are not only thinking of you as they make their wedding list, but actually inviting you. Apparently they think highly enough of you that they want your presence as they celebrate their big day.

While you are delighted to lend your presence at the great occasion, you aren’t so delighted when you think of the cost of all those “presents” that you will have to give to all the newlyweds, and this is in addition to the engagement or shower gifts that you already gave to the future bride. You actually are looking forward to joining in the wedding festivities – but wedding gifts are an extra expense that you really can’t afford these days. It is times like this that you wish that you were a hermit living in a log cabin somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no phone or internet. But you are not and somehow, you have to deal with the fact that a present goes hand in hand with your presence at the wedding ceremony and reception.

But who says a gift has to be something you need to buy, something that needs to be wrapped in paper and tied with a pretty bow – or ripped out of a checkbook? The truth is if you have a particular talent or have the ability to provide a professional service that people pay for, you can offer these instead of going shopping and parting with money that you could use for other important purposes, like paying a bill.

If you are a lawyer, perhaps you can review a legal document, or give a complimentary root canal if you are a dentist (or a free teeth whitening of the young couple’s teeth if they are both cavity free). Perhaps you play the violin beautifully, or have a lovely singing voice. You can offer to perform during the ceremony or reception. That “gift” would surely be more meaningful to the wedding party than another blender or coffeemaker.

If you feel that you have nothing to offer in terms of talent or professional services, think again. There is so much you can do to make life more pleasant for them. Your gift to them can involve spending your time rather than your money – which may even be more valuable to them. To that end you can write a “contract” in which you commit yourself to clean their house top to bottom after a holiday party they host. Or you promise to watch their dog during their week-long vacation. Mowing their lawn an entire month, or shoveling their driveway after three major blizzards is another “gift” you can offer. Looking to the maybe not so distant future, you can promise to babysit for 10 nights – over a period of time of course, not in a row. So don’t be afraid to look in your mailbox. Enjoy the weddings and don’t take out your wallet.