There’s a scene I love from the movie Cadillac Records. Beyonce plays Etta James, and she is in the studio recording the famous tune “All I Could Do Is Cry.” The producer tells her it’s not good enough, that she isn’t putting enough emotion into it. Beyonce (Etta James) records it one more time, this time with just a little more feeling than she’s comfortable with. She actually tears up during the song. The producer deems it a good recording, and they use it for the record.

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter where you are. Maybe you’re delivering a dry quarterly sales report. Let your geek flag fly. Take a little risk. Dig a little deeper than you’re used to. Give your audience just a little more than you feel comfortable giving. They will appreciate your effort, and they will start looking for that passion in themselves, too. You might feel embarrassed and exposed, but your audience will be thinking, “I wish I could do that, too.”

About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, Bucharest, and Sofia for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.