Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.
Did you see Apollos Hester this week? He’s a high school football player from Texas whose 2-minute interview on local television went viral. It’s gotten more than 5 million views in less than a week. What is it about Apollos that intrigued people? Why did everyone from Fox Sports to Time, to ESPN share it?
He’s a teenager, full of passion, inspiration, and enthusiasm that is contagious. At TLG we see a lot of speakers. We coach people on message development, presence and voice. And every once in a while, we find a speaker like Apollos who can nail it on the first take. What makes his interview different than any other high school star on the local television?
We look for lessons in unexpected places and Apollos has shared a valuable reminder with us. He’s doesn’t have a speechwriter; he didn’t have notes. But what Apollos exudes is passion. You can feel the adrenaline from his victory. His confidence, the smile, the energy and the positive attitude all make him believable.
We coach you to prepare your presentations. We advocate for knowing your audience. We help you build credibility and develop presence. But only you know what you’re passionate about. Only you can tap into your intrinsic motivators and allow your true self to emerge in the moment.
Not every presentation calls for Apollos-like levels of enthusiasm. Not every conference room feels like being under the Friday night lights after a huge win. But it could. Allow yourself to embrace the moment. Allow your passion to shine through. Let some of your personality out for your colleagues to see. It will make you a much more interesting speaker. It will engage your colleagues in ways you may not expect. It will connect you to your audience and your message in new and unexpected ways.
Every now and then we all need an Apollos on our team. Every now and then, let it be you.
As The Latimer Group’s Director of Learning, Amy Fenollosa has a rich background in Adult Learning and Leadership Development. After earning a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Amy has worked as a consultant with several Massachusetts companies to help improve their leadership education practices. She has been a curriculum consultant and instructional designer, and developed and delivered leadership training initiatives. Amy lives in Guilford, CT with her two young sons.