A few years ago, I did a three-month mentoring program with Glenn Capelli, to help me improve my presentations. I sent him a video of one of my conference presentations for feedback. At our next session, he gave me a lot of advice and suggestions about the presentation. But the thing that really stuck in my mind was his comment along these lines:
“We learned a lot about your topic, but very little about you.”
I realised then that Glenn was right. In fact, I had deliberately said very little about me, because I was so focussed on delivering as much value as possible in the time available. But Glenn pointed out that audiences not only want content; they also want to make a personal connection with the presenter.
Since then I’ve made a conscious effort to tell them more about myself, even if it’s only a brief anecdote early in the presentation. Not a lot, but enough for them to feel connected to me, not just to my message.