What are the elements that come
together, as in fine wine, that create the
felt, discernible connection?
Other than food and shelter, the
greatest needs of all human beings
are love and appreciation. The audience that experiences feeling loved and
appreciated will feel connected to the
speaker. How is that feeling conveyed
by the speaker?
THE INVISIBLE ELEMENTS
THE VISIBLE ELEMENTS
First and foremost, gifted speakers are
comfortable in their own skin. This
involves being free from preoccupation
with oneself. It means being free from
ulterior motives, hidden manipulations.
Rather, there exists a genuine, heartfelt
desire to share something of tremendous value to individuals, the listeners.
There is a wide chasm between
delivering information and delivering truth as you know it. Your personal
truth resides in your viscera. You care
deeply about some truths as a person.
Those truths are foundational to a
There are many varieties of speak-
ers. There are humorists, educators,
financial gurus and
jugglers, to name
a few. As with
spectacular Chiantis that match perfectly
with heavy Italian cuisine. There are
refreshing Sauvignon Blancs that enhance
veal piccata. It is not the kind of speaker
that determines connection. Rather, it is
the authentic desire to connect that iden-
tifies a powerful presenter.
Perhaps it is helpful to pause and
ask what causes meaningful connection
to occur in one-on-one communication. You are fully present with the
other person with no hidden agenda.
You share personal truth and insights.
And your desire is for the other
person to truly understand
what you are expressing. It is
this very same atmosphere that
is created by the finest of plat-
Now, turn to the more concrete aspects
of masterful speakers. What does that
presenter know and understand about
me as a listener? Powerful presenters
will have asked and answered many,
if not all, of the following questions
before setting foot on the platform:
• Who is in the audience?
• What do they have in common?
• Have I spoken to them before?
• What is the size of the audience?
• What are the meeting planner’s
expectations, objectives and goals?
• What is the demographic mix (male/
female, age span, ethnicity, etc.)?
• Who else is on the program?
• What else is on the program?
• How much time will I have?
• What is unique about the locale?
• What has unfolded in the news about
this company or group or geographical location?
• How will my core message touch
this audience personally and
Listeners are individuals; each one
is listening from a personal perspective. Recently, I spoke to 150 teenagers
at a leadership retreat in the mountains. The application of my core
truths to those great kids was quite different from the day I spoke to 1,000
gypsies in Sophia, Bulgaria! Yet each of
those unique audiences needed to feel
my love and appreciation for them.
That is best displayed by revealing my
understanding of who they are and
what they want to hear or know. Only