Don Hutson is a world class public speaker and past President of the National Speakers Association. His decades of experience made him the perfect person to sit down and discuss the art of public speaking.
It could very well be because you didn’t know your natural style. By not knowing your unique strengths, you missed the opportunity to tap into what works for you.
If you want to be a better speaker or just improve your comfort level in front of groups, this post is for you.
Scott Schwertly is the founder and CEO of Ethos3, a presentation design and training company with clients ranging from Guy Kawasaki to Fortune 500 Companies. In fact, I personally utilized Ethos3 for two major keynote presentations. I can speak from personal experience that Scott and his team are exceptionally talented at creating memorable presentations.
Why is self-awareness so important for presenters?
Self-awareness is absolutely critical for presenters because it means they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses when giving a presentation. It also showcases that they are clearly aware of which audiences will adore them or challenge them. Without this knowledge, a presenter can only guess and assume, which is a dangerous situation.
“Self-awareness is probably the most important thing toward being a champion.” –Billie Jean King
There are sixteen different types of personas. Would you share just a few of them? (would love to include the graphic of the 16 if it is available).
That’s correct. There is a total of 16 presentation personas. All are different and each consists of its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. A few of my personal favorites are the Liberator, Activator, and Scholar. The Liberator is someone who is incredibly well rounded where they score high in all 4 quadrants of the Badge assessment. The Activator is your classic sales personality where this type of presenter excels in front of a room, and people love them. The Scholar is the exact opposite of the Activator where they are a verified expert and have a durable message but they may not be great in front of a room.
Where can I take the assessment?
Anyone can discover their presentation persona right now. They can do so by visiting Ethos3’s Badge page. The assessment takes about 10-12 minutes to complete. It’s super-fast. Also, readers should pick up a copy of What’s Your Presentation Persona? to understand their results/profile.
Stop One Thing
What’s a presentation stop-doing list?
Most people today are constantly trying to add items to their plate. They want to read more books, take more courses, exercise more frequently…the list goes on and on. Most presenters are no different. They are trying to do too much, and it simply is not sustainable. Instead, I would suggest instead of adding 7-8 proactive items, why not just stop one. Let’s say a presenter wants to read one presentation book a week, subscribe to 30 presentation blogs, practice 10 times before every presentation, and attend a presentation training course every quarter. That’s admirable, but it may not be doable. Why not just stop being lazy with your presentations or stop short-cutting your content development process? Stopping one thing is much easier than adding ten items.
Speaking Tip: stop one thing to improve your presentations.
We all want to speak fearlessly and with impact. Influential public speaking is as important today as it’s ever been, despite the digital age. Personal appearancesmatter. Give a great speech and you might just change the world.
So you should try to be excellent, right?
Actually, you should try to be yourself. There’s a reason you’re the one giving the presentation, usually because of your knowledge and experience.
So how do you get off the merry-go-round of self-regard and forget yourself while embodying your vital message? Here are three ways to do so.
Leaders’ egos sometimes set them up for failure as speakers. That’s especially true if they think, “I know this stuff, so I’ll just get up there and talk about it.”
That’s a speech guaranteed to be shapeless and not very engaging. Speeches are strategic activities, after all, and need to be thought out and constructed with care. Your best guide for doing that successfully is an audience analysis.
Ask yourself these questions: What do I need to tell my listeners that they don’t already know? How do they prefer to receive information? Is there an emotional climate here that I should know about? What will their objections be to my argument? And what action do I want them to take? Put yourself in the world of your listeners, and it will be far easier to reach and move them.
Speaking Tip: Put yourself in the world of your listeners.
Let’s face it: Most of us are content junkies when it comes to speeches and presentations. We’re convinced that if we load enough information into the laps of our listeners, they’ll respond the way we want them to.
This type of thinking ignores reality! If our content could live on its own, we wouldn’t even need to be present—we could just send the information along and say, “Read this. You’ll have all the data you need.” The truth is, however, audiences need us, as speakers, to put it all into context and, most important, to tell them why it matters to them.
So instead of gathering more and more content like a dung beetle, practice how you’re going to engage your listeners and establish rapport. You’ll be the speaker who knows how to perform a speech. That’s the one they’ll listen to.
Speaking Tip: Practice how you’re going to establish rapport.