The other evening I was watching the BBC Programme on Climate Change, anchored by veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

Listening to him made me wonder, why is he such successful and authoritative presenter and what can we learn from his style?

Well for me there are two key factors.
Firstly he is authentic – He looks and sounds like he is speaking from the heart. Technically he breaks a few of the “rules” of good presenting yet he gets away with it because his words, his vocal delivery and his non verbal signals (body language), all send the same signals. In other words he is an extremely congruent presenter. If you aren’t feeling passionate about your material it will show through, no matter how good a presentation you have prepared. You’ll need to work on convincing yourself of the importance of your message first before you try to convince your audience.

Secondly he has authority – He looks and sounds like he knows what he is talking about plus, he has an established track record. Now thinking deeper, I started to wonder, how much does he really know about climate change and the complex science behind it? Probably relatively little compared to the experts who wrote his script but how important is that really compared to the fact that he is perceived as an “expert.”

Now Sir David doesn’t have to work hard these days to establish & maintain this status, but he did in the beginning. All good speakers need to establish their credibility at the beginning of their presentation if they want to play the “authority card” to help them present. How good are you at doing this?

Have a great week and remember to post your thoughts/comments on any of my articles.
Gavin

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