Passion makes up for a lack of humor chops or mediocre speaking skills.
Over the years, our office regularly gets calls from folks wanting insights regarding the speaking business. 100% of the time I personally take those calls because I was in their exact same position many years ago. Hence, I pay it forward with 15 minutes on what’s essential in this biz.
Every few weeks we’ll get a call from a celebrity agent, or best-selling author looking to go from good speeches to great audience experiences. In these cases, I’ll offer a three-month speech coaching contract. (PS I have my own coach as one should never underestimate the value of an outside perspective.)
One of my past speaking clients had a significant market presence in the financial world. This guy lives entirely in his left brain. Data makes him all giddy. Telling jokes and presentation humor is NOT his jam.
“Vince, how can I be funny?” he asked during one session.
“You can hire Mack Dryden. Also, you can also lean into your passion,” I replied. “When you talk about compound interest as the 8th wonder of the world it’s truly entertaining in a dorky sort of way. You get all animated and passionate about it. Keep doing that and you don’t necessarily have land jokes in your financial talk.”
Another gentleman who netted over $200m per year approached me to be his speech coach. He wanted to improve his speaking skills at his industry events. On our 15-minute call, I reviewed what I saw from his recording in front of 500 business leaders. I declined to coach him for one reason - his desire for presentation skills was not worth 3 months of his or my time. He had all the passion in the world. He was better on stage than he thought. His passionate take on overcoming obstacles superseded any “ums” or lack of speaking chops he demonstrated.
Whether it’s a presentation, leadership style, or sales acumen ➡️ lead with passion and your platform skills become secondary.
#leadershipskills #salesskills #speakingskills #speechcoach