March 25, 2011

Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven't got a clue...



Stefano Langone, a contestant on the current season of American Idol, has it all, according to the judges: a great voice, great pitch, great range, great control.

But he is missing one thing: audience connection. When he sings, it's almost as though he's singing to himself. Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges, made this observation on Wednesday night, in response to his performance of Lionel Richie's "Hello:"

"Fine? Check. Sing like crazy? Check. You have that... When we're saying open your eyes and do those types of things, it's because we want you to connect....

I don't want the intensity to come from you wanting to do well, I want the intensity to come from because your heart is breaking."

Randy Jackson added, "You definitely have the pipes; you can sing.... You sounded good, but there was no real connection.... There was no real emotion for us."

And Jennifer Lopez' final comment was, ""When you start feeling it from your heart, you watch how your phrasing's going to change as well."

Stefano, technically proficient as a singer, ended up in the bottom three during the results show, most likely because the audience responded to his performance as the judges did.

You can have all the right techniques as a speaker. You can have all the right gestures, the right movements, the right vocal variety. You can have good content, a powerful opening, and all the other things we talk about here.

But if you're speaking just to hear the sound of your own fabulous voice; or offering false emotion and karaoke-style rock star intensity; or kicking back emotionally because you think business presentations are all facts and logic, you will not make your desired impression on your audience. They will walk away cold, thinking, "That guy had some good stuff to say, but he just didn't do it for me."

"Do what?" you ask... Connect! Be present with the audience. Have a conversation, like it's just you and the guy in the second row. And the woman in the third row. And the guy in the first row, eighth seat from the left.

If the audience doesn't feel emotionally connected to you, they will not follow through on your call to action. They won't feel inspired to call you, hire you, or buy from you.

For more on connecting, read this post: Only connect! 9 ways to do it.

And take a look at Stefano for yourself. What do you think?



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