Delivering inspirational presentations
I’ve been watching Lessons from Chemistry. Specifically, there is an episode where one of the characters, Harriet, implores her friend Elizabeth to make use of the platform she has on TV to make a stand and support her community. She argues how privileged Elizabeth is to have a platform and urges her to use it responsibly. This episode resonated with me and got me thinking about delivering inspirational presentations responsibly.
The impact and influence of the platform
I often talk about that courageous step of standing up for something and speaking out. To do this we also have to have a platform. In other words, for our presentations to have an impact, we need an audience and somewhere where we can be heard. Because when we have the platform though, we need to recognise the impact and influence that comes from that. What we have to say gets amplified. So we need to use that platform responsibly.
Are you playing small?
Speaking passionately about the changes we want to see in the corner of the pub to some friends, might feel great but is limited in its impact. Attending a parish council meeting and sharing those thoughts to councillors who can act on your thoughts, potentially can make a difference.
In business, chatting one to one with people may well get you the sale or the contract. Delivering a keynote at an industry conference, raises your profile and potentially generates trust, awareness and lots of warm leads!
What platforms can you use to deliver inspirational presentations responsibly?
This could be podcasts, video, social media lives, panels, presentations, keynote, Signature Talks, TV or radio, community groups, schools and education establishments, local government, national government, international forums… the list goes on.
Here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- Who needs to hear your message right now? Where are they hanging out?
- Who is offering a platform from which you could speak?
- Could you create your own platform?
- How can you amplify that platform?
How seriously do you take your responsibility?
When we speak powerfully, authentically and skilfully from a platform, people listen. It behoves us to take that opportunity seriously and use it wisely. Here are some interesting questions to ask yourself:
- What’s the change that you want to see?
- What’s the difference you want to make?
- What would be the impact on those that come to listen to you?
Delivering inspirational presentations responsibly and using a speaking platform responsibly involves utilizing it ethically, thoughtfully, and with consideration for the audience and the impact of your message.
How can you use those platforms responsibly?
Here are 6 fundamental considerations if you want to be a responsible speaker:
Authenticity and Integrity is key:
Strive to be genuine and truthful in your message. Avoid misleading or deceptive statements and ensure that your content ie what you say aligns with your values and beliefs.
Treat your audience with respect.
Consider their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and sensitivities.Obviously you should avoid offensive or discriminatory language, and tailor your message to be inclusive and welcoming.
- Base your presentations on credible and verifiable information. Avoid unsubstantiated claims or misleading statistics. Frequently I hear speakers making wild and sweeping statements that wouldn’t stand up under scrutiny.
- If you are referencing others or drawing on the work or words of others, then acknowledge and credit your sources appropriately, giving due respect to the original creators of ideas and information.
- It is essential that you consider the impact and consequences of what you say and the stories you tell. Be mindful of the potential impact of your message on individuals, groups, and society. Consider the ethical implications of your words and actions. Think beforehand about how what you say may trigger others. Although this doesn’t mean that you avoid saying what needs to be said but thinking carefully about how you place it, deliver it and how you support your audience in listening is an important (and often underestimated) aspect of preparing for a talk.
- We should be accountable for and take responsibility for our words and actions. In a word be willing to address concerns, correct errors, and engage in open dialogue.
Just like the character in Lessons From Chemistry, if we have a public platform then there is a real opportunity to promote positive change: Above all use your speaking platform to advocate for positive change, promote understanding, and contribute to constructive discourse.
How can you use those platforms responsibly? Speaking platforms are opportunities to uplift and inspire
How can you use your speaking platform to inspire, motivate, and empower others? When we share our expertise, insights, and experiences then we really can make a meaningful difference.
If you’d like to know the ingredients for creating a great presentation, take a read of this blog.