Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!
I’m typing this rather gingerly, because I’ve burnt my fingers while toasting some pitta bread. Is there anything hotter in the world than the inside of a pitta bread? Forget wind farms, nuclear power or wave energy, it seems to me that the answer to the world’s energy problems could be solved if we could just figure out how and why the inside of a gently toasted pita bread generates enough steam to remove the prints off my fingers!
Clearly the pain has addled my brain because today’s blog is about communicating with passion.
Last week whilst I was presenting in Paris, one of the delegates asked how I presented with so much passion? While two cans of Red Bull might help, I think she wanted a little more detail.
In my mind if a communicator needs to do one thing, it is to transfer emotion to the recipient.
When you see a great speaker they tend speak with the utmost conviction and belief.
Now if you are Bob Geldof, Nelson Mandela, or indeed Chris Huhne (topical!) speaking with passion and integrity may come easy to you. But how do we communicate with passion in the workplace?
This is not about spin and fluff – or delivery over content. The first thing is to gather information from all relevant individuals and sources. Then to analyse it, without doing that how will you know what direction to go in?
Once we’ve decided on a course of action, we know we are making an informed and well rounded decision which means we can argue passionately about it – from both the heart and the head.
If you’re looking to get buy-in from your team, or a senior manager, then having thought out all the different options will provide you the foundation of credibility.
Give Them Reasons for Your Decision
Whenever you try to present a new idea, a really good way to open the conversation is to tell your audience the problem that you are trying to solve, whom you have consulted, and the various options you have considered.
“I’ve spoken to everyone in the team, and consulted our sales and technical directors, as well as asked our main customers, to see how we could increase the efficiency of our products. There were a number of different options that emerged, but the two things that everyone agreed we must address were…”
Alternatively you should explain the results of your analysis and then tell them exactly why what you are suggesting is logical and thought out and the best way to go.
In an age of spin and quick fixes, when people realise you’ve done your homework and you’re not making a rash decision they’ll instantly become more interested in what you have to say.
Let them Know your Credentials
Don’t be afraid to gently and subtly use your experience and your achievements to convince others that your ideas and proposals are good. You can use others to set this up for you if that is easier. But it is important that people know the authority that you bring to the table. For example I will always have the person introducing me stress that my 7 Keys were proven at the Edinburgh Festival before I get up on the stage.
The audience react differently to me what I am going to tell them when they know this.
Belief is everything
Now that’s all very well and good but great communicators also do something else, they truly believe in their course of action. A great salesperson truly believes in their product. A great business leader truly believes in his vision.
To communicate with passion you must truly believe in your ideas and your words because when you truly believe people will also believe. However, the moment they see you doubt your own words, even if for just a second, that will be the moment you’ll lose them. Remember, a great communicator is also prepared for any questions that could be asked.
Passion is authentic. Just like the pitta bread an audience can always tell when a person is just full of hot air…
I’ll cover more in part 2 next time.
Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.