Today I went on a Horse Whispering taster day with Debby Reilly from Understanding Equus and Lynne Ewer-Carrington from Challenge Manager. To be honest I went because I was both curious and sceptical about what I could learn from a “horse trainer” but by the end of the day I was convinced. So what did I learn and how is it relevant to us as presenters or public speakers?
Lesson 1: If you want the horse to follow your lead you have to win his attention! You cant assume his attention, you have to work at it.
Isn’t this the same with humans. How many presenters fail to hook their audience’s attention from the start and head off blindly into their content assuming that you will follow them.
Lesson 2: Once you have his attention you have to do something with it. You MUST maintain the interest and curiosity throughout otherwise he will be distracted by almost anything other than you!
Again this is true of presenting. You have to maintain your audience’s interest and lead them on an engaging journey to get them to do what you want them to do. If you lose them at any point you need to reconnect before you can start to move again. How good at your are planning that journey and making it interesting and engaging throughout?
Lesson 3: You need to believe. If your horse senses that you don’t know where you are going or don’t believe totally in what you are doing, it will pick up on this and stop following you.
The most inspirational and influential presenters and leaders demonstrate their total belief in their message in their words, tone and body language. How can you expect your audience to believe if you clearly don’t?
I could go on and on, so good was this day but I’ll keep those other experiences for future posts. In the meantime I hope that these three ideas will get you thinking about your own presentations and speeches. I’d love to hear your comments – please feel free to leave them using the comments box below.
The Presentation Doctor