I've always loved this photo. It was taken a few years ago when Sir Ken Robinson was a speaker at TEDx`liverpool. Everyone wanted to talk with Sir Ken but he alway gave his full attention to whoever he was with - as this photo of him and my eight year old daughter reveals.
I've met with some prominent politicians and leaders, and while on the face of it they can be pleasant and courteous, you can sense that their attention is already straying to the next (often most influential) person in the room.
Sir Ken has tremendous presence and authenticity. My daughter has his full attention. He's not looking past her to the next networking opportunity. He is in the moment, present, listening and learning.
His TED talk on creativity and education is the most widely watched ever with over 100 million people estimated to have seen it, with many citing it as their favourite. The amazing story behind his talk is that there was no script, no weeks of rehearsal, no artificial story to bring all his points together - basically Sir Ken walked on stage and connected with his audience. For him it's the most natural thing in the world.
Today, speaking from our heart, unscripted, unedited can feel a little too vulnerable. In my experience as a teacher and also as a speaker coach this often arises when we have little conviction in what we are saying. This is also the case when we try to second guess what people want, when we lack faith in what we present or when we pretend consciously or otherwise to be someone we are not!
Our power of connection is presence, being in the moment with that person or audience and speaking from the heart. We convince by our presence.
Watch Sir Ken's talk below.