iStock_000008434000XSmallDuring a briefing session with a client last week to prepare for a presentation training programme for his team, I asked the question, “What should the participants be able to do (or do better) after the training, that they cannot currently do?” His answer was that they should be better speakers and presenters, able to get their message across and able to do it with heart. I probed a little so that we could set some specific goals – especially about what he meant by “with heart”. It became clear that he knew exactly what he meant but found it difficult to find words that precisely expressed what he had in mind. A few adjectives were used such as “lively” and also the phrase “speak directly to the listeners”.  Having reflected now for a few days, I think what he really means is “be able to connect”, not just at a content level but more importantly at the relationship level. Both are important in communication. Truly connecting is best achieved by being authentic and having the courage to open yourself up. It means “letting go of who you think you should be to be who you are”.  This quote comes from a very inspiring (and funny talk) by Brené Brown, to be found at TED Talks. I encourage you to watch – especially if the ability to make the connection and communicate “with heart” has so far eluded you.