Damn Yankees
was a hit 1950’s Broadway musical, later a movie, about a desperate fan who makes a bargain with the Devil, so that the Washington Senators baseball team can beat the Damn Yankees and win the pennant. (Hmmm, no comment here, please, about New England sports fans.)

The show had fabulous singing and dancing. One of the Big Numbers takes place in the Senators’ locker room, where the down-on-their-luck ball players get a pep talk/song from Coach, who tells them they’re missing the one essential ingredient for success: heart. 

You’ve Gotta Have Heart
sings Coach, “Miles and miles and miles of heart. Oh, it’s fine to be a genius of course, but keep that old horse before the cart. First you’ve gotta have heart.” Exactly.

Heart Comes First
A great way to think about your presentation is to ask the question, “What’s the heart of the matter?” What’s at the very center, the core of what you’re trying to say? And, equally important, why do you care?

You Don’t Have to Be Glib
But you do need to care. Because if you don’t, why should your audience? It makes a huge difference to your effectiveness if you can find some type of heart-connection with the content. This isn’t always obvious or easy to do, particularly if you have to present ideas that aren’t your own.

Consider It Part of the Job
as communicators. I often ask my clients, “What gets you juiced about this work? What makes you excited?” In other words, it’s up to us to remember why we’re doing this. Even (especially) if it’s a stretch. Then use that energy to inform how you talk about what you’re talking about.

Gotta find a way to love that material! Even the driest data can use a little love. And audiences need to feel the love as well. Think of you, your material and your audience as a sweet trio, making beautiful music together.    

From My Heart to Yours
This is the week of hearts as far as the eye can see. It can be a little over the top, right? But here’s a secret. I love what I do; the enthusiasm is real and forever. And it’s my great joy to share it with you. Straight to the heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Be the happy recipient of more great tips and techniques, along with intelligent musings on the state of communications, by signing up for Diane Ripstein’s regular NewsNotes right here.