As part of my personal growth plan, I am reading Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits & Attitudes by Dr. Tim Elmore. I first came across this book when my supervisor forwarded this video (Every Presentation Ever: Communication Fail) from Growing Leaders to our team. (Funny and painful; I highly encourage any presenters or teachers to watch it.)
Always interested in becoming a better presenter and leader, I perused the Growing Leaders’ website and found that there was an accompanying book. The basic message of the book is that the key to better leadership and presenting to others is to constantly focus on your communications skills. This book provides reader-friendly, engaging advice to help you do that. In the next few blogs posts, I will provide a brief chapter summary, but I recommend anyone focusing on communication, especially presenters and educators, to buy the book ($15 on the Growing Leaders website). I should note that I first sent a draft of my post to the Growing Leaders organization and received an OK to provide these.
Chapter 1: Windows and Mirrors
The premise of this chapter is that, if you provide a window into your own humanity, your audience will see themselves in you (the mirror) and will better connect with you as a leader. The chapter has a nice chart that compares “public speakers” to “communicators.” Public speakers focus on their own image and message; communicators focus on their audience and making an impact.
Chapter 2: Number Three Pencil
Some presenters think that if they talk over the audiences’ level, they will appear more intelligent. The truth is, the best presenters (and teachers) make very difficult concepts appear easy. They make it accessible to their learners. KISS (keep it simple, sweetie) is my one-word summary for this chapter. I especially appreciated how the author described Winston Churchill’s brilliant communication methods to help the British through WWII.
Chapter 3: House on Fire
Take time to talk about why your topic is urgent before you launch into the details. We tend to use a similar quote in my work: “The audience won’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
Chapter 4: Movies or Meetings
Instead of running your session as a meeting, consider what makes movies so engaging (conflict, resolution, drama). Use these components to communicate more effectively.
I will summarize chapters 5-8 in my next blog post.