April 28, 2010

Is your self-image getting in the way of your presentation?



This is a four-minute clip of British chef Jamie Oliver meeting with hospital administrators, during the filming of his Food Revolution project and TV show in Huntington, West Virginia.

The administrators are so concerned with their public image and the "what ifs," they can't see what needs to happen right now to take action and help lead the healthy food revolution in their community. (Sorry about the ad at the beginning.)



It reminds me of speakers I see who are so concerned with what the audience is thinking about them, that they aren't thinking about the audience. What is best for the audience? What will benefit the audience? How can I connect with the audience?

When speakers stop worrying about their image and start being in the moment with the audience, all kinds of great things happen.

They relax.
They smile.
They move and gesture naturally.
They connect with audience members.
They show their passion.
They laugh.
They become animated.
They sparkle (not like the vampires in the Twilight movies)!

And the audience begins to relate. The audience becomes intrigued. The audience wants more. The audience smiles, laughs and participates.

The speaker and audience collaborate on a joint experience that benefits both parties, creates energy, excitement and ideally, action or some other tangible result.

As Jamie says at the end of the clip, "At some point, you've got to stop being worried about 'what might' and and be part of 'what is.'"

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