This motivational speaker on fitness had an absolute BLAST at a Zumba certification course in Miami last weekend! I met Claire who is an assistant choreographer for Princess Cruise Lines and was wowed by Eric, the Zumba master trainer who led the course. We Salsad, Merengued, Cumbiad and Reggaetoned our way through a well organized day of movement, lecture and music recognition.
As we speakers are apt to do, we analyze others presentations to pick up on ideas that work and the ones that don't so we can apply it to our own time on stage. I would have given our presenter an A++ except for one blaring flaw. He started the day with a frustrated diatribe on how confusing the directions were to get to the studio, how it was the university's fault that we couldn't use the parking close to the gym, how he'd been up since 5 that morning, how he was forced to start our day a little late because of the late students who were lost on campus… Wow! Good morning to you too!
Once we started class, however, he was brilliant with his energy and knowledge so I started forgiving him. Then after lunch when we are being coached on teaching techniques he emphasises to "Leave your stuff at the door" when you come into a room to teach. In other words, don't share your personal stress with the students in class. Come in with a smile like you're so happy they're here and you're so happy to teach a class with them. WaaWaaaa. Did he not remember his own intro before class?
Matching your words with your actions is a vitally important issue for any presenter. The audience (or meeting planners) doesn't miss a trick and making this mistake can certainly drop your evaluation scores and the likelihood of repeat business.
Now it's time to lace up my dance shoes and practice the "Cutting the Sugar Cane" step!