Overcoming the Ineffective

The King's Speech, directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Starring Colin Firth.

One of my favorite movies is The King's Speech, the true story of King George VI.  Colin Firth plays the role of King George, who has a stuttering issue when speaking.  Geoffrey Rush is his speech coach.  It is a fabulous story of overcoming a speech handicap and impacting a nation at the brink of war.  You may not have a speech impediment, but most of us could probably use some coaching to overcome impediments that would make us more effective communicators.  We have found that most people do not have a clue how to get started in giving a presentation.

Extraordinary presentations take focus, work and practice, whether you are speaking to a nation or speaking to a customer or just trying to motivate your team.  Giving effective and compelling presentations can sometimes, not only dramatically change your confidence level, it can change your whole person.  As demonstrated in The King's Speech, you need to focus on three things;  What is said, How it is said, and To Whom it is said.

Selling Ideas to a World of Skeptics

Imagine yourself speaking to an audience where everyone believes you and they have no questions.  Okay, now wake up.  We understand how tough it is in today's marketplace to build trust.  When our intentions are good, we are doubted.  When our products are good, people assume there is a catch.  When we tell a positive story, people assume we are hiding something. 

Aristotle wrote the first book on communication entitled, Rhetoric.  In his book Aristotle says that every time that someone gets up to speak, no matter the occasion, their audience is asking three questions:  (1) Can I trust you?  (2) Do you care?  (3) Have you got anything to say?  Number three is easy.  We've always got something to say.  But one and two are the foundation and framework for how your content is delivered.  Effective audience analysis is critical in your preparation.  What are their issues?  What are they thinking?  What are they feeling?  What is the objective of your presentation?  Knowing your audience really well is the first step in building trust and knowing that you care.  How do you build trust?  Make it relevant.  Make it tangible.  Make it human.  Make yourself real.