I attended a presentation earlier this week that happened to be so bad, it made me walk out well before the speaker was finished. Even though he was talking on a topic I have spent most of my career doing, I assumed there would be a few nuggets of useful information. Turns out you should NEVER assume…I and many others in attendance were extremely disappointed.
The speaker started a half hour late and spent the allotted time providing a bare minimum of remotely useful information. Further, he made a few bragging claims about how successful he was. I wanted to scream: “Gee, that is great for you! Why are you here again?”
I found out later that I was not alone in my early exodus. Approximately half of the people in attendance followed me to the exit doors.
Normally, I would let this sort of thing slide by EXCEPT…I am noticing that more and more presentations that I attend are about as exciting as watching paint dry!
This is a topic near and dear to my heart. You see, I make my living as a professional presenter. I’ve spoken to hundreds of High School students, military personnel, inmates (yes, convicts!) mid-career changers, senior executives…even SALESPEOPLE. While I may not be trained in the performing arts and as such most definitely no great Thespian, I DO know how to keep an audience focused, in touch with me and interested in what I have to say.
So I find this trend of awful presenting to be quite alarming. It is NOT enough to be a subject matter expert or well versed on the topic you present on. You have to be engaging. You have to provide PRACTICAL advice customized to your audience so they can take away your advice and recommendations and implement them that same day to use in their job, at work, on their business, with their patients..etc. A great tip is practice voice modality. Your tone should not be reminiscent of watching dust accumulate on venetian blinds. If you do a lot of public speaking, why not take a public speaking course. Better yet, enroll in an acting class.
If you are developing a program start out by asking: “what am I going to convey?” Why should someone leave their job and devote their precious time to come hear you speak? What new knowledge are you going to provide? What can they learn from you that they can’t learn anywhere else? It may sound simple, but the garbage being passed off as expert commentary is alarming.
It is a disgusting trend where presenters divulge the BARE MINIMUM of “FREE” information as a loss leader. There is NO transparency. It is crystal clear that their intent is ONLY to hook attendees into paying for their consulting service.
In my opinion, there is going to be a huge backlash if this trend continues.If all the world is a stage, many of these imposters are going to get the proverbial hook.
What do you think?