I was working with a senior executive for a large company last week helping him prepare a speech to his employees. At one point, I suggested that he tell his audience about a particularly challenging part of his job.
“I don’t see why they need to know about that,” he said. “Telling them about that really isn’t relevant to their work.”
Of course, he was correct. But I wasn’t swayed.
“So what if it isn’t relevant to their job,” I argued. “They probably would like to know what it’s like being you. Remember that these are your employees. They don’t know what it’s like sitting in your chair. They want to feel kinship with their leader. Tell them about yourself in an honest way.”
So often good speaking just comes down to being generous with our audience. Tell them something honest about yourself and they will usually respond.