I do a fair amount of public speaking in my job at Adobe and I'm extremely lucky to have one key advantage.
I'm not necessarily the best speaker. Nor am I extremely charismatic nor high energy.
No, what I have is quite simple. I get to talk to an audience of people just like me, i.e. fellow marketers. And that's incredibly powerful. Why? As my role is marketing marketing technology to marketers, I get their issues, challenges and can relate to what they are going through.
And that means I can talk from the heart. I'm not faking it. I'm not guessing what it's like to do their job. I'm not even interpreting the results of an intermediate's research project. I'm living their lives. I'm in their shoes. I'm feeling their pain. (I also love marketing, which also helps).
And that does three things in my audience's mind. It shows I have:
- Authenticity (He's genuine and believable)
- Confidence (He's relaxed with his subject and that says a lot)
- Trust (He's one of us!)
And that magic triangle far outweighs pizzaz, charisma and showmanship. Its something we shouldn't forget in our more general marketing. In an age where our physical and digital worlds have collided and customers are overwhelmed by digital noise, the brands that win will be those that show they care about their customers. And they can only do that if they can demonstrate that they understand their issues, needs and wants (and of course provide products & services to meet those elements).
So the challenge in the next few years isn't about grabbing your customer's attention. That's a fickle, fleeting thing to get. It's about delivering great experiences that not only makes them loyal to you, but show that you're loyal to them. And talking from the heart, authenticity, confidence and trust are the tools of the trade to help you succeed.