March 05, 2009

Love and Respect

In a post by Seth Godin, he brings up a couple of really great points when it comes to presenting. He explains that when delivering a message, the presenter needs both respect from the audience and a love for the audience.

Regardless of how you choose to tell your story, you are a presenter. Whether it is in an auditorium or theater, your office, or through a blog, you are presenting ideas, concepts, and a vision to the individuals that you are attempting to connect with, otherwise known as your audience.

We are all storytellers. This is a fact. Call it your personal brand, or vision casting, or leading your mission, you are telling a story everyday. Sometimes, the story spans multiple days, weeks, months, and years. Other times, you only have several minutes to convey your message. That being said, it is crucial to gain respect from your audience quickly. The way that you gain this respect is through consistency in your actions, being responsible and assertive, passionate and engaged. You need to be aware of and accept the fact that quality is essential in all that you do. You may only have one chance to grab hold of someone and speak to them, especially in a world where there is so much competing for our attention. Your audience has already made certain judgements about you before you even begin to speak. If you want your message to be heard and accepted, you need understand that you get one shot to earn that respect. A damaged brand is extremely difficult to overcome. It can be done, but it takes significant time and effort.

Why do you even care if anyone listens to what you have to say in the first place? What does it matter if you gain respect from your audience? Because, the story that you are designed to tell is important to those that are listening. You need to realize and understand the weight of the responsibility that you have accepted. People will listen to the story that you have to tell and will actually look for a way to become a part of the story that you are presenting, when you are able to get beyond any potential gain for yourself and focus on the importance that your message has in the lives of others.

Gaining respect from others and loving your audience require that you gain the understanding that none of it is about you or your organization. It is all about others, and helping them to become the best that they possibly can become.

Simply put, your story is important out of your love for others. And the only way that you can deliver this story is to gain respect from the audience and to love the audience.

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