There’s truth in the cliché, “Just be yourself.” Showing your humanness when you present is a great way to stand out. It’s a quality that’s totally lacking in most presentations today—even though the entire audience consists of humans! In many organizations, employees are conditioned to string together meaningless words, put them on slides, and then repeat them like a robot. The accepted norm is for presenters to hide behind slides, as though hiding were a form of effective communication.
Presenters think they can hide behind a wall of jargon, but what people are really looking for when they sit down at a presentation is some kind of human connection.
When two people share common beliefs and connect based on those beliefs, the result is the most human, transparent, and relational form of communication that can occur. Presentations are ideal opportunities for this level of communication, because they are one of the few types of interactions where people connect in person, and it’s deep connections that make great presentations stand out. Forming connections is an art, and when it’s practiced well, the results can be astounding.
Being human and taking risks are the foundation of creative results. Taking risks shows you’re willing to tap into something your gut is telling you will work, and then not letting your head talk you out of it. That’s creativity and humanness at its best. Unfortunately, many cultures stifle risk-taking, and many workplaces constrain human connectedness.
Being true to yourself involves showing and sharing emotion. The spirit that motivates most great storytellers is ‘I want you to feel what I feel,’ and the effective narrative is designed to make this happen. That’s how the information is bound to the experience and rendered unforgettable.
– Peter Guber
It’s easier to rattle off jargon and keep communication emotionally neutral. But easiest doesn’t always mean best.
These statements are from real presentations that have had all the humanness sucked out of them. It’s easier to hide behind messages like these instead of tapping into what is human about us.