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Spare Me the Speech Makers

Networking is part of my job, so I go to a lot of meetings. Speakers vary a lot, but the ones that really irritate and bore are not the ones that don’t know their subject – they can be quite amusing – the most irritating are the experts who want to impress you with everything that they know.

The first rule is to know your audience and the second is to know what you want them to do. If at the end of your talk they are better informed, more motivated, curious even – then you have achieved a useful goal. If at the end they are tired, bored, perhaps resentful that you have stolen part of their life, then you have shot yourself in the foot.

Most people have an active attention span of just 15-20 minutes – perhaps less for the iPhone/YouTube generation! In a presentation we see and we hear – different senses that need different stimuli. Death by PowerPoint is well documented and achieved by putting almost the entire text of the presentation on your slides then reading out the notes.

A better approach is suggested by Guy Kowasaki in his 10:20:30 rule:

This means that each slide will be readable it will be short and it will contain key information only. For more information they will have to listen closely to what you say. Then you shut up – leave them wanting to know more, before you open up the floor to questions and find what the take-aways were from your delivery and what really concerns your audience. 

More Information

Amanda Jones, Managing Director, HFZ Consulting Ltd, Tel. 0773089043

E-mail:[email protected]


Posted on: 18/12/2013 4:16pm

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