Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Intent Counts More Than Technique

I attended an awards banquet recently where there were several speakers. Most used teleprompters and read prepared remarks.

One was really good. His remarks were eloquent, he got through some pretty technical stuff without a hitch. His voice was smooth and mellifluous.

Another went without the prompter. He stumbled over his words. He often stopped and started a sentence a couple times before he got through a thought.

I asked those at the table what they thought about these two speakers in particular (they were both governors, so the comparison seemed apt). Everyone preferred the second speaker. The one who stumbled.

Why? Because it was clear how deeply he cared. He won us over with intent. With heart.

Often we use perfection as a delay tactic. We edit and refine the email as an excuse not to send it. We memorize or read our remarks because we are afraid of making a mistake.

I've worked on emails so long I have forgotten why I am sending them. Does my intent come through? Not in a good way, I'm sure.

Perfection is not the goal. Authenticity is. Our intent may not come through in that perfect first email. But it will come through. If we are selling something, if we are pushing an agenda, it will be clear. And if we genuinely want to help, that will be clear, too.


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