A funny thing happened last night as my two dogs waited anxiously to escape my bedroom and get to breakfast. Charlie is my black lab mix and Captain Jack is my Jack Russell terrorist (whoops Terrier). They both crowded around the door waiting to be the first to exit. I guess it’s a dog thing.
As I started opening the door, Charlie wiggled his way in using his much larger body to block out Captain Jack. He would have made a great basketball center. Jack had other thoughts. If you are familiar with a Jack Russell terrier, you know they are high energy and live in reckless abandon mode. Captain Jack got behind Charlie and at the precise moment the door swung open, leaped on Charlie’s back and then in perfect “touch and go” motion, vaulted over his head and out the door. You can’t make this stuff up!
Captain Jack offers a lesson for all of us in business. He was focused on the prize. He was willing to go at it with reckless abandon. How do you approach your goals? Do you go after them with that same energy level?
If you’re like me, you’ve seen business speakers who never change positions, voice inflection, or energy level. Boring doesn’t begin to cover their presentation. Hall of Fame Speaker Patricia Fripp says the number one enemy of a speaker is “sameness”. Well, “sameness” when it’s uninspired is probably the worst evil for a speaker.
I’m not suggesting you are there to be an over-the-top, Robin Williams-style speaker. But you do need to be at a higher energy level that your audience. You do need to engage them by changing your vocal variety, moving on stage appropriately, and being passionate about your message. If not, you are guaranteed to bore the socks off your audinece. If that audience is supposed to buy or be interested in your product or service, that’s bad news for you!
The next time you’re up in front of a group – maybe it’s a Chamber of Commerce audience, an investor group, or a networking meeting – gauge the room and make sure you are attacking your message with the same reckless abandon that Captain Jack did. Just be careful on the landing!