We were both speakers at the same convention presenting on the same day-but what a difference. I am tall, while she's short. I am a magnetic speaker-I draw people in with stories and examples. She's a dynamic speaker- humorous and vivacious. We both were hits-the audience loved us.
How could we be so different onstage but the same in capturing the audience's attention? Each of us was authentic and real on stage. Audiences know when a speaker is "pretending" and they know when a speaker is "real."
Have you ever been to a party and you met someone who seemed to be putting on a front and not being real with you? Your intuition told you something was wrong, even if you weren't sure what it was. Audiences are the same. Their intuition, collectively, tells them that something isn't right with the speaker.
Why do people feel the need to be someone other than who they really are? Because they aren't comfortable in their own skin. For some reason, they are afraid that who they really are isn't good enough so they try to be someone else.
Let me give you an example. If I tried to be funny, I would end up with mud on my face. Worse yet, the audience might start throwing tomatoes at me! I must accept that I will never be known as a humorist.
That is not to say I don't have humor, it's just that my humor is the natural progression of telling a story, then giving a twist at the end that is different than what they are expecting.
If I jumped around stage, as this diminutive, 5"2", 102 pound woman did, I would look like an elephant trying to dance. It is not that I am as big as an elephant, it is just I'm centered and speak from a position of confidence and strength. That is my style and what I stay true to doing.
On the other hand, she would have looked as if she were in a straightjacket if she hadn't gestured continually with her hands. Her tendency was to laugh at her own jokes, and then the audience followed her lead. She was having fun and that enthusiasm was contagious.
Each of us had a different style. What is your natural style? What are you confident in portraying to your audience? What are your best attributes and strengths? What will the audience love about you?
As a speaker, each was curious to hear the other's presentation and we both "analyzed" what the other was doing while she was on stage. We can always learn from others-both what we do well and what we can improve.
Tony Robbins, one of my mentors, states that each person we meet knows more than us about some things and we know more than them about other things. With that in mind, I listened to my colleague speak asking what I could learn from her presentation.
More than anything, I learned that by being comfortable with yourself, confident in your topic, and creative in your message-you will "wow" your audience, whatever your style.
Presentation and sales coach Linda Snyder is the creator of "Dare To Dream: Plan to Succeed", a practical guide to achieving powerful goals based on Linda's 26 years of experience presenting motivational seminars and sales trainings. To learn more about this book, communications coaching, and to sign up for FREE teleclasses, visit www.clarityofvision.com.