Allison Cheston, Career Connector

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How To Not Be a Boring Speaker

 
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I have a number of presentations and workshops coming up this fall, and I’ve been thinking about how to structure my talks for maximum value and interest. In my research, I found a Tim Sanders blog post with a phrase that particularly bears repeating: “Do your research about the audience, where they need to be moved to, and how that intersects with your expertise or experiences.”

It seems so obvious that the audience holds the keys and yet, most of us forget that. We labor over our PowerPoints with just the right wording and hope that everything we think we should say will fit on just a few slides.

And yet, we’ve been told by successful presenters that the key to a great presentation is in knowing your audience and speaking to them from the heart. Unfortunately most of us either don’t know how to do that or we are fearful of failing to deliver on some level. Or we’re afraid that without the PowerPoint safety net, we’ll get too nervous and flub it all together. I’m as guilty of these fears as the next person.

But I’ve got a couple of talks lined up over the next month, and I’m determined to prepare differently. No PowerPoint, for starters. And lots of thinking about how I can be of service to each audience.

I’m curious to hear your experiences and tips too.