Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The 7 deadly assumptions of speaking
There are many ways make your presentation better, and I often post my thoughts which may help other speakers. From time to time (this time to be precise), I like to recommend what NOT to do when you're presenting. So here are my seven deadly assumptions to be avoided by all speakers at all times.
1) One speech fits all. No it doesn't. Every audience is different, and even if you are telling them the same story, you need to consider their interests and background.
2) More is better. Trying to pack in a huge amount of information is counter-productive. It's far better to focus on the key message that will be of most benefit.
3) You're there to impress. Your sparkling wit and well-crafted visuals may be impressive, but that's not the reason you're there. It's about serving the needs of the audience.
4) You don't always need to prepare. You should prepare for every speech. You're there to deliver your best performance, every time.
5) You're there to speak, they're there to listen. Not any more. Audiences are much keener to interact, whether via direct questions or social media. You need to be ready to engage with them.
6) You're not expected to be there all day. Just being there for a few minutes before and after your speech is short-changing an audience. They and you will benefit from a longer stay.
7) You're the most important person in the room. You know this isn't true. The only successful speech is one that the audience benefited from. That makes them the focus of attention.