Tony Compton, Managing Director
If any of the US presidential candidates saw me on a debate stage passionately fighting for my products, my services, my company, my family, my friends, my beliefs, and my country, they’d see me sweat, too…
In a good way.
In a passionate way.
It means I’m into the subject matter, and into the matter at hand.
You’d see it too, and you definitely would hear it.
But I’m not running for office, and that’s enough about politics.
Several years ago, I was fortunate to pick up two of the last remaining tickets to see a performance of The Iceman Cometh starring Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Those ‘last remaining’ seats were in the front row.
It was a treat to see that play. With four acts, three intermissions, and nearly five hours of performance, any production of that show severely taxes even the most durable of actors. Plus, the financials of such a lengthy stage event make it difficult to economically sustain. For a host of complex reasons, it can take years for this particular production to return to the stage. I read that people flew in from all over to see this rarity of the theatre, and I felt fortunate to have been in the audience.
The critics’ reviews of the play were overwhelming positive. One theme in the write-ups was that the actors added something extra to their performances. They upped their game to match the experience of participating in this rare opportunity. And it showed.
I read that Nathan Lane was proud of his role in this play. It sure looked and sounded that way. Watching the final act from the front row, not only could I hear his words, I could see his words. Lane put everything into his lead character, and through the upward-facing lighting on the stage lip, the emotional delivery of his defining speech was visible. That night, he left it all out on the stage.
When was the last time you did something like that in one of your presentations?
When was the last time you prepared to do that?
Doesn’t your audience deserve that from you?
It’s amazing how fast five hours flies by when you’re treated to an exceptional performance.
It’s also amazing to wonder why we’re not treated to more exceptional performances, and experiences, in our business lives.
Of Sloth and Stagnation
The current rigidity of sales, marketing, and executive communication skills has become disappointing. Look no further than the communication and presentation skills on display during typical, everyday business activities. I rarely see, hear, or feel the passion. Little sweat. The carefree and oblivious attitudes of the communication sloth and spotlight-stagnated cheat us all.
Working from home, people sit. People travel to the office, and sit. Coworkers sit. You sit in front of your computer. No doubt you sit in most of your meetings. You may travel to a trade show. Get to your booth, and sit. Attend a session, and you sit alongside your fellow attendees.
You get the idea, but this isn’t about walking around during the business day. I know many who are adamant about maintaining active, healthy lifestyles. But personal communication performance for business has now become much, much more than eating right and staying active.
It takes practice, skill, and a performer’s physical approach to bring content to life with personality, passion, attitude, tone, inflection, timing, and credibility. Moreover, it takes movement. Movement on stage, behind a microphone, even during a webinar.
Marketing’s Future Value through Personal Communication Ability
The business communication, public speaking, and presentation game has permanently changed. Mobile technology, and high-definition cameras in every pocket, purse, and briefcase have assured us of that.
Those in #myindustry need to know that their audiences await, right now. And if you don’t address them, somebody else will. Immediately. Facebook, Periscope, Meerkat, Blab are counted among those in the surging #livestreaming space. Few eagerly await email campaigns.
No marketer can automatically enter this competitive arena from an office environment which has slipped into a state of sloth and stagnation. No salesperson or executive, either.
Which brings me back to my main point about the future of sweat in marketing performance.
An audience deserves your best performance. Always. You don’t have to be a world-class actor or a physically fit marathon runner to be successful, but you do have to get out of your chair, stand up, and practice. Move. Ready your voice, your body, and your content. It doesn’t matter if it’s an audience of 1 or 1,000, make the audience feel your passion about your content and give them your best by bringing your content to life.
No actor would just stand there an read a script, so don’t just stand there and read your content.
My Communication Workout
I’ve started a formal entry into the world of professional voiceovers. It’s a helluva complement to the world of marketing communication, events, and sales enablement. What I’ve learned about myself is that in order to be successful behind a microphone,
I have to mark up my script well in advance, and prepare myself to move. To act. To bring my content to life.
Because for me, it’s that marketing sweat that brings content in #myindustry to life, and that personal sweat that I try to give an audience when I perform. I want to leave it all out there whenever and wherever I perform.
So should you.
To meet the demands of the new ‘round-the-clock and around-the-world audiences, we must.