Last week I met the most amazing person. His name is Chris Van Buiten and he serves as Vice President of Innovation at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. I had invited Chris to join me and his Sikorsky engineering colleagues for an informal lunch ‘n lead discussion on Day #1 of a 2-day presentation skills workshop for technical professionals.
The idea of inviting him came as a result of doing research to help me customize the training course to the client’s needs. I interviewed numerous people on the topic of what makes an outstanding technical presentation versus a mediocre one. Everyone kept mentioning Chris Van Buiten as the example of best in class in technical presentations. One director told me that she had seen him give the same presentation three times at different conferences and would happily watch him again. He is that good.
Want to see Chris in action? Watch this YouTube video from his presentation at the 2010 Heli-Expo in Houston, TX:
I took four pages of notes when Chris was speaking and sharing his insights on presentation effectiveness. One particular phrase he used was “deliver the heat” in reference to what a presenter needs to do to engage his/her audience. I asked him what he meant by this expression and he said “the passion, the energy.” For the rest of the workshop, we began to use this energizing phrase to ensure we were showing enthusiasm for the topics we were presenting.
- Read Chris’s other tips for effective presentations – Distill complex information when you present
Deliver the heat when you network
It occurred to me driving home from Sikorsky following the workshop that “delivering the heat” in networking is also important. People need to know what you are passionate about. When you attend networking events you need to have some life force in order to attract and engage people in conversation. Of course, you need to regulate that heat, so you don’t blow people away with your high energy (I’ve had that problem myself in the past). Your E-factor (which stands for Energy/Engaging) is a crucial part of your 30-second elevator pitch, a personal presentation of yourself to someone you desire to connect with and develop a mutually-beneficial relationship. That’s networking.
Your Networking Goal for the Week
Turn up the heat and deliver more passion in your networking activity this week. When you meet with people for networking (in person or over the telephone), observe and adjust your own level of energy to help you produce your desired outcome with this person. If you need more energy to match theirs, then turn up the heat. Listen to your recorded voice mail message and ask yourself “is there enough passion and energy in my voice?” If not, re-record it with more heat! When you network, you are presenting yourself and your ideas to others. Make sure you are doing that in a way that is energizing, engaging and represents an authentic, powerful you.
About the writer: Kathy McAfee is known as America’s Marketing Motivator and is author of the book Networking Ahead for Business (Kiwi Publishing 2010). In her role as Executive Presentation Coach and Professional Speaker, Kathy helps her clients to become the recognized leaders in their fields by mastering the art of high engagement presentations, more effective networking and personal marketing. To learn more about Kathy, visit her web site MarketingMotivator.net. If you like this tip and want to receive free networking tips on a weekly basis, please sign up at NetworkingAhead.com