Saturday, December 28, 2013

Speakers - time to drop the Sex Pistols.

You remember those news images when the Berlin wall came down? It's unlikely that anyone under 40 in your audience will. That was 24 years ago. And those naughty Sex Pistols? then you're talking to over-50s - the punk rock era was 36 years ago.

I don't know about you, but at this time of year I pause to review the reference points in my speeches. The stories, the characters and the historical incidents all age at the same rate that we do, though the average age of our audiences remains the same.

Of course, many stories - often personal ones - are timeless, since they relate to emotional rather than temporal issues. However, leaving a speech unchanged, year after year, may mean that your connection with your audience wanes.

Why not take a few hours to consider what stories and references you can replace or update? Your audiences will notice and appreciate it. 

Photo credit: Creative Commons licence


David Blaz said...

Some good advice but I still like the Sex Pistols!

Andrew Bryant, CSP said...

You make a good point Alan, popular references are popular only by time and space. As a speaker or British origin living in Asia, my reference to Marvin the Paranoid Android from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy is likely to receive blank looks, whereas a reference from a Korean Soap drama might get knowing and appreciative looks.
I would caution to not give up on all Brit Pop or punk, as my kids (6 and 8) are fully aware of the Beatles but I have not yet introduced them to the Sex Pistols! Whatever your prep, every now and then a reference will be lost and in the immortal word of the HitchHikers Guide - DON'T PANIC!