Lessons we learn from Lance and Oprah

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Lance Armstrong & OprahThe whole world was watching, as Lance Armstrong confessed all on Oprah about his doping allegations, which he stated helped him secure 7 Tour de France wins – he could not have done that otherwise, he answered Oprah.

No matter how you feel about what he did, you couldn’t envy him ahead of that interview – would he continue to deny the allegations, would he come clean? Would she break him? Would he come out with any shred of integrity?

Lance ArmstrongBut he was ready.

Even Oprah said it. He was so prepared, so polished, so sincere, that the world felt a tingle of … pity?

No. Understanding.

After all, you can’t argue with the truth can you?

Lance must’ve been stomach-churningly nervous, and rightly so, but the only card he could play, was to be prepared.

We all dread speaking in public. No one likes getting up in front of their peers/strangers/a camera, to talk about their business. In fact, it makes most people sick with nerves. But in this climate, honing your presentation skills and your media training acumen is important, because if an opportunity to profile your business presents itself, you have to grab it!

The only advantage Lance had over Oprah, was that he knew more than she did about the whole thing – and she didn’t know what to expect. Lance did.

You know your business, your job, your area of expertise, better than anyone else. So next time you’re preparing for, (and dreading!) your next presentation, or television interview, remember this- you’re the expert on what you’re going to say – so be prepared!

A great trick I recommend to people is to practice your presentation (your pitch or your key messages for interview) standing in front of a camera or iPhone and watch it back.

Is it terrible? Do it again. And again, and again, until it’s good. Keep repeating until you sound convincing, until you are delivering the exact message you want to communicate!

Ask yourself this question before you start – what do I want to get out of this interview/presentation?

Boost the profile of the company? Tell people what you do and what makes you special? Make sure people know we don’t just service Dublin clients?

Whatever it is, make sure you don’t leave that interview/presentation stage, without telling people what you came to say.

Then decide on two or three key messages, and try to communicate those effectively.

Keep practicing those messages, along with a brief introductory sentence about your business (say it even if the interviewer doesn’t ask), and then sum up at the end by reinforcing your bottom line, your key message. Don’t aim to tell the interviewer/audience every facet of your business – they will switch off!

Lance Armstrong

Ready?

Remember, you’re not trying to win an Oscar.. you just need to be best version of yourself!

You probably hate what Lance Armstrong is all about but he did do a good job on Oprah ..

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

Jill Collins conducts presentation skills training and media training in both Cork and Dublin.

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5 Responses to “Lessons we learn from Lance and Oprah”

  1. Paul Mitchell Says:

    I did not feel any sincerity in what he said and the words had no feeling of genuine remorse or integrity so for me he did not do a good job as he was not in truth.

    Regards

    Paul

    • Greg Canty Says:

      that was the most common feedback – his insincerity. In a funny way I thought there was honesty in not expressing huge remorse – didn’t he admit that he is still a jerk?

  2. Lynn Says:

    At first, I was appalled at your juxtaposition of Lance’s interview with advice to polish my presentation. Now I see the humor in it: you’ve made Lance and his psycopathic narcissistic mean-spirited veniality banal. Nice job! I’m so looking forward to you working your way through the other psycopaths, narcissists and pathetically deluded of the day; so much material to work with! Seriously?

    • jillcollinspr Says:

      Thanks for your input Lynn. I was using Lance Armstrong’s interview to demonstrate that regardless of the subject matter of your interview, being prepared is the best defence.

  3. Howard Hughes Says:

    How true, a polished presenttion can be disarming even to the synics.

    I don’t think you shoud be nervous about speaking about your business if you consider that much is in your favour; subject matter, prepartion and the appropriate audience i.e they should be there because they want to hear what you have to say.

    http://bigthink.com/think-tank/lance-armstrong-american-psychopath?utm_source=Big+Think+Weekly+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=9df4f9a767-_Here_s_What_s_New_at_Big_Think1_16_2013&utm_medium=email

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