Just attended a session about “Leading with a vision” that left me with a kind of an empty feeling. First, let me say that I have a lot of respect for session presenters as I know what it takes to facilitate a workshop or even be a public speaker, I also salute their willingness to share their knowledge with others.
I just wanted to share why I felt that way, ad share what I learned from this session, and the presenter on what NOT to do when publicly seeking or facilitating a workshop:
1- While the session was about “Leading with a vision” the speaker didn’t really share a vision or speak about himself and his own vision to engage me as part of the audience
2- His tone of voice never changed, monotonous to the point where my mind was drifting off and I had a hard time concentrating. Never smiled and never used any humor.
3- The session discussed how leaders should use empathy and connect emotionally with people, the speaker rarely connected even through eye contact with the audience; leave alone connecting emotionally
4- The body language of the speaker wasn’t open and engaging, he was constantly looking at the slides literally reading them
5- Though the slides didn’t have a lot of words on them, they lacked pictures and were boring. Most of the slides were actual definitions of words like “What is a vision? What is Leadership” what is leading? Etc…
6- At no point the speaker shared a story that would have helped me or the audience connect with him emotionally
7- The presenter used a video that had almost no sound, and one of the examples of the leaders used were “Hitler” which totally turned me off the presentation (Sometimes I use Hitler in my sessions but as a toxic leadership example and not as a leader with vision)
The presenter could have been the best in his field and just failed to communicate his message to me: the audience.
At the end of the session I waited to see others’ reactions; as I know as a presenter myself my sense of criticizing can be higher, there were almost no questions asked barely one.
My take on this experience is this: We live in a world that is overloaded with information and unless as a presenter I do not leave an emotional impression on the audience, I will be forgotten in less than a day.
To connect emotionally with others we need to have emotions – simple right? – But in a way it is not for many people. We need to speak from the heart and share our passion in a compelling way, we need to use story telling either personal or stories about others, it is fine to share our vulnerabilities, it is about being human and sharing who we really are; especially if the session is about leadership.
In my book the more human a leader is – the greater of a leader he/she is. Leaders earn from their mistakes and vulnerabilities, are transparent to share them with others so they can learn from past failures. Leaders lead by example so being yourself is the biggest gift you can share with your audience or followers.
Also having emotional intelligence and ability to read and sense your followers or audience are the way to communicate your message and engage them.
As a leader you can have the best message ever but if you fail to communicate well or fail to engage or connect with your follower then chances are they will fail as a leader
Let me know your thoughts –
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