I admit that I would watch a 24-hour cable channel devoted to Marcus Buckingham.  He is not only a font of information on career advancement and workplace engagement, but he’s also, shall we say, telegenic.  I had the pleasure of seeing him present again this week on his new research and upcoming book called StandOut – the next iteration of strengths-based research.

This post has to do with his presentation rather than his new content (the book’s not out until September).  The key lesson I took away from his 40-minute presentation was that you have to show up completely to be a successful speaker.  The other presenters I saw at this conference were not nearly as impressive. They were just phoning it in.  You could tell they did not care if they were in Fresno or Fredonia so long as they sold products.

But Marcus was running on all cylinders and the audience ate it up.  It did not hurt that he was preceded by the amazing dance troupe called G Force who pumped up the audience and got the energy flowing.   Imagine if he came out on stage after that dazzling display with his shoulders slouched and mumbling an awkward introduction.  Everyone would have looked down at their I-Pads or smart phones (like they did in other sessions).

The lesson here is to stop strategizing and rehearsing right before you speak. Instead, take a moment to center yourself, enjoy a few, deep cleansing breaths and go.  When you show up fully, the audience responds in kind.

– Barbara