Updated March 30 at 9:51pm

Do your people actually want to listen to you?

I’m at a corporate conference about to give my 90-minute, customized, personalized talk. I spent hours preparing it – as I do all my talks – and I’ve spent the last 20 years improving my speaking, presentation and performance skills. More

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Do your people actually want to listen to you?

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I’m at a corporate conference about to give my 90-minute, customized, personalized talk. I spent hours preparing it – as I do all my talks – and I’ve spent the last 20 years improving my speaking, presentation and performance skills.

I’m not just a speaker. I’m a student speaker.

Anyway, before my talk, the two corporate leaders of a multibillion-dollar company address the gathered 200 in the audience. The attendees are eager to hear their words and looking for (hoping for) inspiration and direction.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get either.

The leaders, although smart and capable, were HORRIBLE presenters. I guess they didn’t consider the skill important enough to master. Not good. They have a responsibility to be GREAT. Their people are counting on it.

REALITY QUESTION: How’s your leader? How are his or her presentation skills? REALITY QUESTION: How good of a presenter are you?

REALITY QUESTION: Do your people, your audience, and your customer WANT to listen to you? Or do they HAVE to listen to you?

REALITY QUESTION: When you’re giving a talk or making a presentation, how compelling is your message?

REALITY QUESTION: Are you afraid to give a talk? NO – you’re just unprepared. Or not prepared enough to own the talk. NOTE WELL: You can never own the prospect, the customer, or the audience if you don’t own the presentation.

When you give a talk or make a presentation, make certain you understand:

• What your engagement points are.

• How you want the audience to walk away feeling.

• What you want the audience to do tomorrow?

BIG SECRET: Think of it as a performance, not a presentation.

BIGGER SECRET: Never stand behind a podium. Get down off the platform and walk around.

BIGGEST SECRET: Learn to perform by singing Karaoke (I did).

If you’re giving a speech (and you should be in order to be perceived as a leader), or making a presentation, there are some strategies and elements you must employ in order to ensure maximum attraction, engagement, connection, and maybe even sale.

1. Use genuine humor. Start with a comment or story that leads to BOTH laughter and learning. Go on YouTube and look at my videos. They will provide answers to humor and education.

2. Ask poignant questions. Ask people what they’re hoping for. Make the people you’re addressing THINK. Especially about themselves.

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