In an era of how quickly you can do anything (“Now! 30 Minutes to Master fill-in-the-blank”), it’s helpful to step back and look at the Long View. We may live in an instantaneous culture, but real wisdom comes from experience. And lots of it.

The Wisdom Years
I spoke recently with Glenna Salsbury, a Grande Dame and legend of the speaking industry, a woman of immense grace and the cumulative experience that comes from decades of touching hundreds of thousands in her audiences. 

How Does Connection Feel?
Glenna’s style is unique. She looks at you. She listens to you. She speaks with you. Her goal is always to connect, deeply and with compassion. And it feels different, because it is. In fact, it’s almost a surprise how unusual it feels. We are all moving so quickly that feeling genuinely seen, understood and connected to is almost jarring.

Everyone Is An Individual
Whether you are speaking to six colleagues gathered in person around your conference room table, or to groups at multiple sites via video-conferencing, every single person who hears your words is an individual. The challenge for all of us is to make that person-to-person connection feel real and meaningful.

Content Is King, or Is It?
I’m not so sure. What if you were to decide that it isn’t just the content (of course it still has to be good), but how that content lands with your listeners? How your listeners receive it and engage with it? That’s a different kind of goal. How would that change what and how you present?

Nuggets of Truth
Here are a few of Glenna’s:

  • Start by focusing on your audience; not on yourself. What can you give them that they most need?
  • You can only be who you are. Don’t try and be what you’re not; transparency and authenticity create connection. 
  • Be where your feet are. Be emotionally present to what you are saying in that very moment; own and mean your words.

If you’d like to read my interview with Glenna, which was published in Speaker Magazine (the publication of the National Speakers Association), click here.

And I love this quote from Charles Dickens: “There is a wisdom of the head and a wisdom of the heart.” Using both is how Glenna creates the most amazingly powerful and memorable presentations.

Here’s to your head and to your heart: making the best connections ever…