I'm a Communications/Media Executive With a Past Life on TV and a Passion for Building Brands & Growing Exposure

Monday, August 17, 2015

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Finding Your Personal "Command Center"

NASA has one.  The White House has one.  Television networks have them.  Disaster Relief efforts certainly have them.  It’s the epicenter, the core and the heartbeat of every major organization.  The central location and the hub through which everything runs. A "command center."

So why wouldn’t we have one too?  The fact is, we do.

Each of us is built on a foundation of core beliefs, values and personality traits.  It’s what makes you become you.

Who are YOU?
Have you ever taken the “StrengthsFinder” test?  Google it … find it, buy the book, take it.  It’s worth it – in case you haven’t already figured out who you are.

You will find out your top FIVE personality traits and how they fit you professionally.

My guess is that you will quickly see how it fits into presenting yourself to others.  And it that case, the things that make you a worthwhile speaker.  We are all wired differently but if you make speaking appearances with regularity, the Strengths test probably gives you a clue as to why you have the opportunities you do.

Back to “command” … because having true “command” of an audience requires confidence in yourself and your abilities.  Knowing what you’re good at certainly helps.

Having "Command" Equals Knowing Your Strengths
Your best speech requires  delivering – not only information – but a strong, compelling  message to an engaged audience... making sure that all of your strengths are attached.

·         If you’re a real “people person” – engage the audience through involvement

·         If you’re a “storyteller” – engage the audience sharing some of your relevant best

Challenge Peoople to THINK About What's Possbile
·         If you’re an “ideas person” – engage the audience with things that make them think

·         If you’re a “details person” – engage the audience with powerful statistical data

At the heart of every presentation is YOU … the "delivery person."  It’s important to figure out what you stand for ...before finding the best way to stand out.

And with that … comes personal confidence, a commanding presence and the ability to “own the room.”
Thanks for checking in on this blog post ... and sharing with those around you.  I welcome your comments here ... and via Twitter @KraigKann

Thought for the Day: The best speakers are the most authentic and the most engaging.  Remember, they picked you for a reason.  That alone should give you the confidence needed to deliver with impact.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

MEDIA COACHING: Avoiding a Complete Waste of Time

Debates Are Messaging Opportunities
With every presidential election comes the time for debate.  And lots of them.  Debate, debate, debate.  Every candidate jostling for position and a chance to state his or her position.  24 million people watched it last week – I’m guessing that included YOU.

If you are frequently interviewed, I’ll advise you to watch these debates.  Not because I’m forcing politics on you… but instead to see how each candidate handles the questions.  It’s a fascinating “watch.”

Trust me when I say that everyone who is good to great on the receiving end of questions has a message.  And with that overall message comes things that they MUST say if they are to succeed with their mission.

As someone who’s interviewed superstar athletes, celebrities and presidents too … I know when someone is there to be interviewed, or there to deliver a message.  It’s a huge difference.

Three Pieces of Advice
Here’s my three pieces of advice the next time you get the platform

·         Know your information and know the interviewer – the first part is obvious and the second gives you an idea of what you are in for.  Will they drill you with questions or engage you in conversation?  Those are two very different approaches because a conversationalist provides a sense of dialogue over sound bite.

·         Know your message – this is really the most important thing.  Going into an interview without a real “message” is really a complete waste of time.  In a sense, you've given up all control and are simply filling in someone else’s blanks with "response."

Three Key Messages - REGARDLESS of Questions
·         Have a “three things list” – and I advise this of everyone!  While preparing, and working on your message … identify the three things you need your audience to know regardless of the questions. Ask yourself “what do I need them to leave with?” or “what must they know about me and my values?” or “what do I want them to share with others?”

WHY are you Doing This Interview?
The easiest way to gain confidence going into an interview is to have the answer to why.  Why are you here?  If you don’t have the answer to that, then you really don’t have a purpose - all you have is an unused platform.

Thanks as always for reading and sharing this blog post.  I hope you find it helpful and I welcome your feedback here with comments at the bottom, or via Twitter @KraigKann.

Thought for the Day: Answering people’s questions does simply that.  Acknowledging people’s questions and delivering your message is the real key to success.  It is what politicians rehearse over and over and one of a person’s key brand-building tactics.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Pressure to be Perfect is Real

Aim to Deliver "Real" - Not Perfection
All the preparation in the world doesn’t guarantee a great speech or presentation.  Nor do all the detailed statistics, slides and notecards.

At a speeches greatest core is delivery and the ability to control yourself. and connect with the audience. 

That said, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  After all the thousands of television shows I’ve hosted, the hundreds of speeches I’ve given and the numerous seminars led, only recently have I found myself in a situation where I’ve felt a little “off,” dealing with a little more anxiety, feeling the heart race a bit faster, and wondering how in the world I got to this place.

I’ve spent much time reflecting on my best talks and my most engaged audiences.  I’ve analyzed how I prepared, how I started my talk or what might lead me into a situation where things become a bit uncomfortable.

And I believe I’ve found it.  Three things are at the root.

·         First, is the passion I have for the given topic.  Hopefully we all have passion for what we discuss, right?  But when there are hard earned “victories” to celebrate or stories with emotional ties, sharing or delivering to a group of co-workers or industry colleagues can create real vulnerability and things can tug at you.

·         Second, is the respect I have for that given audience.  Trust me, it is far easier to deliver to those who don’t really know you than it is to have a room filled with people counting on you or personally and professionally tied to you.  Standing before people you respect and represent is an honor that comes with great challenge to deliver.

·        Thirdly … is what I believe will get you every time.  The desire to be “perfect.”  Expecting so much from yourself, demanding that you deliver every key point, making sure you say everything the right way – that’s a big dose of pressure to take to the stage.

If I break it down further, I feel I am at my personal best when I’m “just me.” Discarding the responsibility I feel to others the minute I walk in front of an audience or step in front of a microphone is a now a goal for me when hosting, interviewing or speaking to a group.

To this day, one of the best shows I ever remember hosting at Golf Channel came with ZERO time to prepare, as I rushed in early to handle an extra show for someone who became ill.  And I remember saying “we won’t kill them with information, that’s for sure…. so let’s kill them with entertainment value!”  And you know what, our panel discussions were better, my sense of enthusiasm was higher and I truly believe it’s because we went “unscripted” and off personal and professional knowledge and familiarity. 

Learn from EVERY Speech
Don’t get me wrong… I love the big stage.  I can't think of one time I felt scared or afraid.  And more than anything, I love the challenge that comes with delivering something that truly impacts others.  But ... what I have learned - especially lately - is that the goal of perfection never works.  We aren’t … and a presentation or speech never will be either.

So the next time you feel like a speech or a presentation put you in a strange place midstream, or forced you into a "pause" .... analyze the why and cut yourself a break – remembering that you were chosen for that opportunity and just being you is the main reason why.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing this blog.  I hope it helps you and as always, I welcome the feedback - here or via Twitter @KraigKann


Thought for the Day: A perfect speech or presentation or ceremony doesn’t exist.  A well-delivered speech that’s authentic and at times unscripted is what leads to connection.