“Research indicates the pitch, volume and pace of your voice affect what people think you said about five times as much as the actual words you used.”
—Stanford Business magazine
How about this for an upsetting fact about influencing and getting a message to stick with an audience? STOP trying to overwhelm them with facts, charts and other data. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. Just learn to connect.
Now let’s dig deeper and look at content vs. performance in regard to audience receptivity to your ideas or message.
Content vs. Performance
Presentation is a Performance Act. You are an actor. FDR said it about the A presidency: “The President must be the nation’s number one actor.” And you, my dear presenter, must be #2! You are here for a serious reason. (Like the president.) The content, idea or cause, your beloved content etc. is a life-and-death matter for you. (So, too, for the president.) The methods of the great actor and performer (Remember Self 3) are the methods of the great speech giver/presenter—standing before an audience of 2 or 22 or 220 or 2,000. In fact, the research evidence is clear: The acting and performer bit swamps the content bit. That is the “win” or “lose” outcome is driven far more by acting and presentation skills than by the quality of the content. If that upsets your mental map or appalls you, well … tough. Go with it. Believe in it. Study it. And never forget it if you want to be experienced as a great speaker or presenter. Performance is everything…Period !