A lot of people live in a state of denial these days. What they think, and what they believe, are often a reflection of their own alter egos created by all of this technology.
There are so many people today who think they need to use technology to be known as a good speaker, teacher and influencer. Let me reveal something to you: You don’t need to use PowerPoint in order to deliver a great speech!
Let me break this to you, if I may. A star teacher must be student-centered, not technology centered. Influencers don’t rely on presentation software in order to be influential!
Recently, I visited with the Sunrise Rotary Club to deliver a keynote about TechnoModeration with my good old, and cool, Lee Oskar harmonica, plain paper, a collection of stories and different voice pitches. OK, I had a few slides projected onto a screen from my laptop in order to make a few points here and there about what I like to call “technology conditioning” to the audience. However, the vast majority of my speech was done in an entertaining fashion without the use of technology.
What were the results of that endeavor? My dear compatriots, I think the audience really liked the conversation. They were paying attention, laughed at times, interacted with me and themselves, and more importantly — got the point that we have a technology problem in America.
How did they do it? By not looking at their smartphones or following a collection of keynote slides, but by focusing on the verbal and non-verbal behaviors of a speaker who wasn’t reading from a PowerPoint slide.
Listen to me: The key to communicating with impact isn’t related to how much technology you use or how technological somebody believes you are. Forget this idea that you need to have Facebook to persuade an audience, or that Instagram will make others take action on the things you say at face value because they have an online presence.
What you really need is to have the ability to tell stories and make your audience think about the topic you want them to think about. This is done better without technology, and off-line.
I am getting tired of seeing so many talented young people limit themselves because of technology. We are people, and guess what? People are full of emotions!
Do you really think that you will be able to persuade anyone online without having human contact with them long term? Think again!
Mediated communication has its perks and can be used at times, but it will never replace the good old face-to-face conversation. This is precisely why conferences, events, schools and many other public venues bring trained communicators and speakers to speak to their audiences. Communication skills are still king in the age of Fedor, ladies and gentlemen.
The power of a live speech carries on, I must add. A good keynote speaker, after delivering a killer speech to any audience, without relying on too much technology, is often rebooked by somebody who heard that speech.
An influential teacher who puts students ahead of technology will build an army of followers. The result is quite predictable. These same students will eventually start coming in masses to the professor’s office to learn more.
Keep this in mind: People are relational, especially millennials. If you can’t relate, you won’t influence them. Relationship is built face-to-face, not with technology! A good teacher understands that.
Influencers are a rare breed. If you have them on your team, don’t let them go. Do what you can to keep them. Treat them with the respect they deserve. This breed usually has choices.
Although influencers are often technology literate, they don’t always rely on the latest technological advancements to be influential. Did the Rev. Billy Graham use PowerPoint to influence his crowd during his crusades?
Open your eyes to what is important. Technology is second to humanity.
——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info).