Saturday, October 18, 2008

7 Reasons Why Speakers Flop

a Biblical thought...
Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. (Matt 23:9)

a Book thought...
Most people are looking for dynamic leadership, but dynamic following is where the real energy for an organisation comes from. (p211 MacKenzie)
a Dave thought...

1. A disregard for time
The length of a speech shouldn't be a function of title or power, but a function of how long a person has agreed to talk. Start on time and stop on time. Not only will your audience respect you for it, but also you will demonstrate respect for your audience.

2. Unclear purpose
If you cannot identify a concise, worthwhile purpose for the presentation, you probably shouldn't be making it. Design your speech the way the pros do. Begin by asking, "At the end of this presentation, what do I want listeners to think, feel, and do?" Good presenters speak to the head, the heart, and the hands.

3. Inadequate preparation
There is no excuse for "winging it." Each speech is a transaction. Your listeners are paying attention, and you owe them a worthwhile presentation in return.

4. Failure to capture attention
Your content and delivery had better grab the audience's attention right out of the shoot. You don't have the luxury of "warming up" your audience. Hit them square between the eyes with something that will break their preoccupation with the thousands of other stimuli clamoring for their attention.

5. Pomposity
Ego-driven leaders are more concerned with what followers think about them than with what followers do because of them. Rather than influencing their listeners, pompous leaders attempt to impress the audience. In doing so, they manipulate rather than inspire.

6. Boredom
Today's audiences are filled with people who were raised on MTV. This generation spent its formative years watching music videos that contained 150 images in the course of a minute. A speaker who entertains never fully flops. For a speaker, the value of entertainment comes from its ability to mentally engage listeners. I've found the best way to educate is to slip good ideas in on the wings of entertainment.

7. False endings
Conclude concisely. Each false ending weakens the message in front of it. A simple rule to remember: good endings only happen once.

You can ramp up your speaking performance by analyzing your last presentation with these seven questions:
Did I stick to my allotted time?
Did I develop and present purposefully?
Was I thoroughly prepared?
Did I capture attention at the very beginning?
Did I positively influence listeners?
Was I appropriately entertaining, or at least not boring?
Did I end only once?

An affirmative answer to each question virtually guarantees that your next presentation won't be a flop. Not only will your communication be flop-proof, but you will likely be perceived as an articulate and effective speaker.

Just a thought.

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