You Are Not Your Slide Deck

 In Presence
a portable computer with a peeping out of the screen

When I was first introduced to presentations in the business world I was appalled. I realized that people thought that their slide deck was their presentation. As a musician, that would be like assuming the piece of music you’re playing is the only thing that matters, when in reality, how you stand, your body language and of course, your talent and the way you play your instrument are hugely important. That’s why we pay big money to go see the performers on stage. Even why you walk on the stage is important, as Constantin Stanislovski (1863–1938) pointed out in his famous “Method”.

I apply the same approach to executive coaching. You want to be seen as a leader? You have to act and talk like a leader, and be clear about why you are there. Through my work, I’ve developed a simple formula to use to make sure you show up that way…simple, but requires a shift from “content is king.” It is so powerful that 80% of my clients get promoted or move on to a preferred position.

The Powerful Secret Sauce

For greatest vocal impact (my term for finding your voice in a noisy world), align your Intention, Content, and Delivery.

a diagram in the shape of a triangle of the alignment of trust, presence, and authenticity

That’s it.

Here is how it works. Intention is the why, Content is the what, and Delivery is the how. You have to get them all to agree with each other; the result is Authenticity, Trustworthiness, and Executive Presence.

Here’s an example of how it works

Let’s say you need to introduce a new project to your team and you want them to believe it’s a great opportunity. In fact, you are excited about it. You can tell them that but if you say that you’re excited with a flat, lifeless delivery, they won’t believe you! You must authentically feel excited and sound excited. And I will remind you that intention can be heard and felt even without words– If your intention isn’t clear or you have ulterior motives, people can sense it.

Most business people think more about getting their content right than anything else. On the other hand, the effect of the alignment of intention, content, and delivery can be seen in the successful performing artists that we admire, such as Lady Gaga, YoYo Ma, Beyonce or (insert your favorite here.) What’s more, they take it straight to the bank.

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Photo 143850 © Andres

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