Are you ready for your close-up? If not, Bronwyn Saglimbeni is your go-to gal. This PR guru is a media and personal presence consultant who helps entrepreneurs – especially women – get their story heard, and she prepares people for the media spotlight. She even helped the fourth American Idol judge polish her media presence for on-camera work.
We have so much good stuff with Bronwyn, that we are breaking this up into a 3-part interview.
RS: Hi Bronwyn! So nice to have you. What are the 3 most common mistakes people make when presenting in front of an audience or on air, and how does that impact the perceptions others have of them?
BS: Sadly, we often forget what a privilege it is to speak to an audience. Whenever people take time out of their day to listen to us, it is a tremendous opportunity to share information, ideas, and to inspire. Too often we approach these golden opportunities from a place of “what do I want to say? What are my key messages?” Me. Me. Me. In the right sequence, these are great questions to ask. But the first question must always be, “What does this audience need? What do I know that could help them?” and then ultimately, “How do I present this information so they can use it, remember it, and be inspired by it?” Once you have identified what the audience truly needs to know, then you can build your key messages around those needs.
Another common mistake is when someone undergoes a transformation for the worst when they go on camera or on stage. Suddenly, the spark of her personality goes dormant, and a very serious imposter emerges… the person she thinks she is supposed to be. It’s unclear to me why this magical transformation happens, but I believe it’s rooted in fear. It’s scary to be yourself with all eyes on you, especially if you’ve ever received messages in your life that “you” aren’t ok. Recently, I was talking with a genuinely kind, funny and thoughtful gentleman who was about to give a presentation. When he got up to present, it was like a different person walked out onto the stage. He went from easy-going to serious-as-a-heart-attack, and forced us (the audience) to endure 24 slides comprised entirely of text, and the occasional mind numbing chart. By the time he arrived at the “Questions?” slide, no one could remember anything about the presentation except that it was the longest 45 minutes of our lives. If he had approached his presentation with more empathy for the audience, bringing out more of his true personality, we all would have gotten so much more out of it.
The third mistake is relevant to television. For many people, television appearances can be terrifying. There are so many distractions happening in the studio. You might have a surly host, or arrive to an eerily quiet set, where no one is making an effort to make you feel at ease. Or perhaps you’re not used to speaking directly into the camera lens. As a result of this confusion and pressure, people arrive at the interview ready for battle, almost over-prepared, and focused entirely on answering the questions posed to them. The unfortunate result is that they fail to connect with the interviewer- the direct line to the audience. Turn on CNBC tomorrow morning and watch the satellite interviews. The people who make you forget they’re staring into a camera lens are those who have found a way to connect with the interviewer in a conversational, natural way.
For over 15 years, Bronwyn has worked with clients to improve their public speaking and media relations skills, challenging them to bring out more of themselves in their communications. Bronwyn is known for her playful, irreverent approach to coaching, combined with her knack for delivering “tough love” in a way that allows executives to achieve true breakthroughs. Bronwyn encourages clients to be authentic, engaging and approachable, which has resulted in successful interviews for clients in publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek; and successful television appearances including The Oprah Show, Home Shopping Network, CNBC, and American Idol.
Red Slice is a branding, marketing and communications consultancy that helps organizations tell their story. We provide both strategic and tactical marketing support to small and mid-size companies. Let us help you engage, inform, and delight your target audience and keep them coming back for more. Visit us at www.red-slice.com