I’m in that stage in my professional life where I am at conferences, meetings, seminars and exhibitions often, very often. Luckily, most of the time I am asked to give the keynote or presentation but I cannot avoid having to sit in and listen to a plethora of other speakers, executives and guru’s.
To be honest, there is nothing I enjoy more than listening in to a good speaker. But I am astounded that there are so many bad speakers around. Most of the time, when I look around me I see people with glazed looks and brain-dead features open-eyed falling asleep. And that is a shame, because all the people called on stage obliviously are knowledgeable, smart, and credible (well, at least they should be :-)).
So where does it go wrong? Well, it’s not because somebody has three letters on his business card labeling him or her “boss” that that person is the most talented speaker. Use your upscale C-level people to determine content. Let the most gifted speaker deliver the keynote.
Speaking is an art. It requires understanding of the audience, a flexible knowledge of the topic and an adaptive attitude towards the social behavior in the room. Golden rules are simple. If you want the audience to read, send them a book or an email. Slides with text on, force your audience to read: they’ll never listen to you and will fade away within seconds. Moreover, text filled slides prevent you from being flexible.
I NEVER saw a good presentation with a lot of text on the slides. So, do your homework and build a deck with good, humorous, intriguing and capturing pictures or graphs and build your story around it.
The best presenters are people telling a story, taking you for a fascinating journey. If you tell the story right, your audience will walk with you. Use the presentation to illustrate and highlight.
Good presenters interact, smile, are dynamic, vocally creative and masters in playing the room. There is not a lot of them around. Threat them well…