founder of naked leader
Naked Leader Week – 125 (w/c Monday 10th October 2005)
Please forward to those whose lives you touch
Before the main newsletter – more people than ever are discussing leadership and sharing their opinions, thoughts and experiences. I receive much correspondence every week in relation to this and it is all good stuff and worthy to be more widely published (there is too much to put in each weekly letter). So we are using the Naked Leader forum to publish more of this for your interest and comment. Please visit your site (url)********** to share in this wealth of material. And please add any new thoughts or questions yourself.
I have read, been told and researched thousands of ideas on how to present. Ranging from the one day “How to be a perfect presenter” (imagine the pressure on the person delivering that one!) to listening to Ben Zander, Tony Robbins and Tom Peters, through to watching and learning from professional actors.
None of this, though, could have prepared me for a question I was asked in Denmark last Friday.
I was closing a conference on “The Whole Leader.” Everything boded well – my great friend René Carayol had opened the event the day before, the room was very positive and receptive, and before I spoke everyone sang a song and engaged in warm-ups, with great enthusiasm.
My presentation went well, and I stayed behind for lunch, moving tables to listen and engage with people, to hear their thoughts on leadership and on my message that no matter what your age, background or present position, everything you need, to be anything you want, you already have within you.
And then it happened – I was asked one of the most unexpected, left-field questions ever. I was on a table with four people, three of whom were excitedly debating leadership. Then, during a pause, the fourth person, who had not said a single word to that moment, looked up from his food and asked me simply:
“Do you really believe – I mean, really believe, what you say?”
The table went quiet. As those of you who know me will testify, at times I never use one word when twenty will do, and so I was ready to launch into a long answer about passion, belief and values, all supported with examples and case studies. However this time my heart took over, and I looked the questioner in the eyes, deep into his eyes, and said simply: “Yes”
To which he said: “In that case – thank you”
I learned something very powerful in that Copenhagen hotel restaurant last week – that when one is presenting – yes, the audience is thinking, “what’s in it for me?” and “how can I apply what the presenter is saying in my life, or to help others,” however more than these two, they are asking themselves, “Does this person really believe that they are saying?”
And when the answer is “yes,” then the speaker is not only being more persuasive and having greater impact, they are also simply being themselves.
With love and massive best wishes and energy to you, wherever you are