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Advice From a Presentation Guru on Leadership and Communicating Authenticity

Burkhart gave students strategies to help communicate authenticity.

By John Matthew Simon

At times, the hardest part about leadership can be conveying your beliefs effectively and convincing others to share them. This is why Brian Burkhart, founder of the presentation and strategy firm SquarePlanet, emphasizes that “a presentation is an opportunity.”

At the core, effective presentations require a deep understanding of what you believe. And this is not always easy.  However, learning how to squeeze the most out of the communication and human interaction tools at your disposal can help you reap the most benefits from these opportunities.

This was the message Burkhart shared with students from the MSLCE program on Saturday, October 24th.

Burkhart encouraged students to reflect on “What do I believe?” According to the presentation guru, before you can lead or be truly advantageous, you must be responsible for yourself and your own beliefs.

“The goal of business is to work with those that believe what you believe,” said Burkhart. Since choice dictates decision, in order for others to follow your leadership, there must be clarity regarding the principle beliefs or core values.

I know, you’re scratching your head. What does this have to do with presentations?

According to Burkhart, if a presentation is an opportunity and our beliefs are a fundamental mechanism in communicating who we are, the best presenters are those who vocalize their authenticity.

Transmitting authenticity in a concise and emotive way captures the attention of the audience and helps solidify the message of your presentation.

And clearly, Burkhart’s presentation methodology works: I retained the core of his presentation despite being a sleepy and doe-eyed graduate student on an early Saturday morning.