Speak From Your Heart: Anecdotes Humanize Executives on Camera

Personal anecdotes humanize us. You don’t need to see yourself as a storyteller to work in personal details that will connect you to your audience. A short few words about your personal stake in the message can have a big impact.

Your Personality Creates Connections

For example, say you’re opening a new office in South Carolina. You could say something as simple as, “I’ve always loved South Carolina because my family and I used to vacation there when I was young.” If you’re talking about competition in your industry, you could add something like, “It’s tough competing in this space, but I have to stay I’m a very competitive person. I won the chili cook-off in my town three years in a row.”

You can weave in small personal touch points without getting off topic. And when you know your material intimately, it’s even easier to mix your personality in here and there. When you speak to your passions, your natural enthusiasm draws in your audience. They will feel like they’ve gotten to know you.

A Little Authenticity Goes A Long Way

Ultimately, the opportunities to show your authenticity are limitless. The real you may shine in a brief moment of expressing your values. We saw this during Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. During a televised town meeting, someone in the crowd shouted that his opponent Barack Obama was a “liar” and a “terrorist.” McCain’s composed response volumes. “He’s a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Real Human Moments Reveal the True You

It didn’t take a long, drawn-out speech for McCain to show viewers his humanity in that moment. This was a true leader speaking from the heart in a few brief words.

Connecting with an audience comes down to shared experiences. We all have role models, joyful memories, embarrassing failures, moments of triumph. Bring those moments into your performance with the right tone and timing. No matter the subject, your message will instantly gain a real, humanizing meaning.

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