It’s about the audience, not the slides!

what matters nowBut you have to build the talk around your passion… Be honest, be authentic, and speak from your passion. Yes, it means taking a risk. But the results might surprise you.

Mark Hurst – What Matters Now on ‘Speaking”

I recently attended an event where the introduction to the day was provided by six speakers who had been allocated 15 minutes to present their topic. Most people in the audience were knowledgable about one or two of the topics. The chair of the event made it clear that the time limit would be enforced – and he did so!

Had I been presenting, I would have assessed what I could achieve in 15 minutes. That would be enough time to outline the backdrop and present one or two key ideas. With only one exception, all of the speakers opted for the ‘pack it in’ approach – loads of data, speaking quickly, rushing between slides and running out of time. It was NOT a good introduction to the day.

Where you were unfamiliar with the topic beforehand, your level of ignorance was maintained, and your capacity for understanding was further impeded by confusion. The data that was presented in ‘automaton’ fashion could – should – have been included in the information packs.

The one exception was the speaker who told us a story, spoke with passion, used an illustrated example to make her point. We ALL got it. It was energising and stimulating. Intriguingly, this speaker was the one who suffered technology failure, so she couldn’t use her prepared slides.

Maybe that highlights the key problem with many presentations – it’s all about the slides.

Much better to engage the audience with passion, with story, with something memorable… the authentic you.


2 thoughts on “It’s about the audience, not the slides!

    1. Patrick – Thanks for your comment. I agree that effective presentations don’t need slides. They can be a useful addition, but the message should be capable of being conveyed without them (in my opinion!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s