I’ve always greatly admired Jack Welch. Like all our heroes, he’s a blend of virtues and flaws, but the reason I admire him so much is for a specific attribute I’ve heard from many people who’ve worked with him over the years. His ability to really focus on what MATTERS. Jack always had an unerring ability to focus on what was truly important, and not get distracted by trivia.
Hence, when he recently published his thoughts on presentation skills, it really caught my attention because what was clear from his comments is that Jack Welch believes that presentation skill is one of those few things that really MATTERS…. and that’s not an easy list to get on.
Here was the one phrase that grabbed me:
“…I’ve come to believe a person’s skill in public speaking – be it in front of a crowd of 1,000 strangers or a meeting with five close associates – is more essential than ever. Making your case in writing is increasingly a thing of the past. You are what you say; your communication approach is your fingerprint, both professional and personal.”
“More essential than ever.” Wow. That is such a profound insight. In a world of ever-more pervasive electronic media, we may be tempted to think that presentation skill is diminishing in importance: whereas, in fact, it is increasing. I think this is why it’s so troubling to see, daily, that people are LOSING their ability to communicate effectively as they get sucked into the stagnant world of PowerPoint-driven communications blandness. But as Jack affirms, effective oral communication still lies at the very heart of who we are as people, and always will.
He goes on to talk about simplicity, creativity/surprise, and passion… affirming many of our most important doctrines (“Let your passion rip” he says. Wonderful). It’s nice to know that what we teach perfectly aligns with what he says is most important.
Heed his message: this is a skill that must not be lost.
I invite you to read his short article here. Enjoy.