It’s YOU speaking and it’s YOU writing the speech or the presentation. That sounds obvious, but it’s important. Your voice is important for your audience. People need inspiration in their lives and inspiration means nothing more or less than getting new ideas, learning new ways of thinking, seeing things from a new perspective. This new perspective can possibly help them move forward from a situation that they feel stuck in, to a new situation that they desire. Your presentation will merge with all the other things they read and hear. Put together, these ideas can really change their lives. So there’s no need to be too modest. Your unique perspective counts. The inspiration that you bring may be just a small contribution. Or it may be the last drop that really triggers a breakthrough. Don’t worry if your type of speaking is more about scientific subjects or business results for example. The same still holds true. If it was ONLY about the numbers, then people would just be reading a spreadsheet. There is always more and you are it!
I’ve seen a beginning speaker perform quite badly. Nevertheless, several people in the audience could feel that this person had a unique view on the world to share, a view that they could learn from. After just a few more performances, he found his own voice. He was still not the most charismatic speaker, but his profound intellect started to shine through, as well as his particularly interesting sense of humour. He quickly became known as a good speaker.
There are two lessons for beginning speakers in this: firstly, that you are probably already more valuable to your audience than you think. Your unique view on the world matters. One of your first tasks is to discover that uniqueness and allow it to shine through in your presentations. Secondly, like every speaker, you will always have your particular strengths and weaknesses. That’s OK. As long as they don’t prevent your uniqueness from shining through, there’s no problem. Even Barack Obama has his mannerisms. If you analyse his speeches, you can see and hear them clearly. But his unique, profound view on politics always shines through.
Task – Ask 4 friends or colleagues the following question: what do you think my unique quality is that I can bring to the audience? Together with your friends or colleagues, discuss experiments you can do in order to determine this quality more clearly. Also discuss how you can develop your skills to support this particular quality even better.