As the 2006 Winter Olympics wrap up, let’s review what caught our favorable attention and why.

Suffice it to say, it wasn’t any of the pre-selected celebrities (think Bode Miller) who didn’t perform to their potential or “gold-medal” script.

What really broke out was the refreshing USA Network TV program, Olympic Ice, a breezy, irreverent show in which host Mary Carillo didn’t take herself or the sport too seriously.

Rather than showing formulaic, sappy profiles (set to sentimental music) of the hardships endured by the individual athletes, Carillo and her guest experts shared amusing, honest, no-holds-barred commentary on the pitfalls and pratfalls happening on and around the rink.

What can we learn from this?

The public is yearning for “real” people who tell the truth, love their work and dare to be in the moment. We relate to them more than the slick, unemotional hosts delivering pre-polished sound-bites from a tele-prompter.

Keep this in mind the next time you speak at a conference, emcee an event, or are interviewed on TV. Delivering a perfect speech is not what wins buy-in.

Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Paraphrase that to say, “No enjoyment in the speaker, no enjoyment in the listeners.”

What do you want your audience members to feel? If you want them to be engaged, you need to be engaged. If you want them to care deeply about your topic or cause, you need to care deeply about your topic or cause.

What will help you POP! out of the plethora of speakers, emcees, and media guests, is to feel passionately about what you’re trying to say or convey. What will make a lasting positive impression is for you to connect with your audience – rather than speak at them.

For other tips on how you and your message can stand out in any crowd, visit for a free article and to find out when Sam will be speaking in your area.