German Approach

The Germans separate message from messenger. The presenter consciously and purposely moves into the background so that the content of the message can take center stage. Arguments should speak for themselves.

American Approach

Americans link message and messenger. Message content, form and presenter should form a unity. Arguments cannot speak for themselves. In fact, Americans say: „Sell yourself first, then your product or service.“

German View

Germans react ambivalently to linking speaker and content. An overly personalized presentation style is on the one side motivating and attractive, at the same time, however, it is too personified. Germans expect more distance between speaker and subject.

American View

Americans find the German logic of separating speaker and subject as impersonal and distanced. To distance oneself from one's own message is seen as disinterested, even risk-averse. Americans might even get the impression that some kind of tactics are being employed.

Advice to Germans

Identify yourself with your message. Use I and the active form. Avoid any use of the passive form. Draw on your personal experience with anecdotes. Put your heart into it. Show emotion. Give signals when you are a subjective participant in your story and when you are an objective observer.

Advice to Americans

Temper the showman in you. Be coy. Hint at almost a scepticism in your own message. Neither invite nor challenge your listeners to like or dislike you. Take youself out of the equation, so to speak. It‘s all about the message, and not about you as a person.