The world is a much sadder place this week with the loss of Bobby Blanchard, 1957-2007. He was enjoying a weekend with his 3 buddies celebrating his 50th birthday. The landing gear on the small plane they were in failed on landing.
Things would have been okay except this particular airport had a steep ravine on the side that caused them to tumble. Two guys walked away from the crash and the pilot would have except he suffered major burns pulling Bobby out of the wreckage. Bobby suffered a broken neck passed away on the scene.
I am in a group of CEO’s, how I met Bobby. At our event this week we asked that the MC say something about him. Give us a moment of silence. Tell the folks in the audience that what the widow needs is stories from us about Bobby and what he meant to us.
I do not think the MC really wanted to do it. It was clear in the way he did it.
In public speaking, don’t fake it. If you do not want to honor the life of someone who passed away, have someone else who wants to do it DO IT. Similarly, if thanking someone from the lectern, feel thankful about it. What I am trying to say in my very tired morning way is: WORDs mean nothing. Going through the motions is transparent. Audiences hate it. We look dumb doing it.
Match the emotion, the words and the way we say it : presto, a real connection.