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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Alan. I'm addressing a retail conference on Sunday, so your advice is particularly timely. Wish me luck!

Alan Stevens said...

Good luck! Break a leg!

Ian R McAllister said...

Good post! There seems to be an emerging impression that anyone can be famous/a speaker, and hence make a fortune at it by rolling out the same old stuff in the same old way, much as they did the first time that they were asked to do so at a business networking meeting

Paul Johnstone said...

Alan such good sound advice I've been telling people about these habits for some time. Great advice well phrased

Lois Creamer said...

Great post by a real pro! Thanks for sharing this Alan!

Teddy Angelova said...

I would gladly invite you to be a guest in my blog. I liked you consize and open manner of making your point clear and understood.

Elizabeth Wright said...

Definitely a few good lessons there for everyone ;) Great advice Alan; I've know for a long time that in life you never stop learning and it really is an honour to have you as a teacher.