What presenters can learn from Paul Polman (CEO Unilever)

In 2012 Paul Polman gave a unique speech at the launch event of the direct sales brand Aviance into Malaysia.



I want to highlight three major learnings from the speech, yet there are many more:


1)      Show emotion. Paul does it a lot. He is very passionate about the brand and its unique selling approach. He does not just say it himself but makes the crowd shout with him “Aviance YES YES YES”. Remember, this is not a California IT startup! This great shared emotion is truly unique. Paul smiles a lot. He applauds single persons and the audience frequently. It comes across as wholehearted.


2)      Use repetition. Paul repeats the word ’wonderful’ dozens of times. This may occur to people just watching the video to be very strange. But I am sure people sitting in the audience felt very proud. Everything is called ‘wonderful’, the people, the brand, the countries. You must believe to be part of a wonderful thing just starting.


3)      Use the context, i.e. the time, place and people attending to play a role in your speech to make it special. At the beginning he speaks a sentence in Malay language receiving exclamations of joy. Paul references that it is a Sunday thanking the attendees to be there. He describes that he came from Lagos and “wanted to be here in time”. Paul frequently mentions Malaysia where the event takes place. Most importantly he makes literally everybody in the audience to stand up when mentioned thus be a part of the presentation. This creates a very special atmosphere.


If you want to give speeches like this, please contact me. You will learn how to shape a clear message, inspire your audience and deliver a speech that makes people move.



Disclaimer: Paul Polman is not a customer of mine.

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