Thursday, June 10, 2010

Public Speaking Tip #4

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Meet your audience’s needs

Here's some valuable advice from Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun:

“The things speakers obsess about are the opposite of what the audience cares about. They want to be entertained. They want to learn. And most of all, they want you to do well. Many mistakes you can make while performing do not prevent those things from happening. It’s the mistakes you make before you even say a word that matter more. These include the mistakes of not having an interesting opinion, of not thinking clearly about your points, and of not planning ways to make those points relevant to your audience. Those are the ones that make the difference. If you can figure out how to get those right, not much else will matter.”

“Even a topic as mind-numbingly dull as tax forms becomes interesting if the speaker cares both about the problem and the people affected by it.” – e.g. ‘Here’s line 5 of the new tax form’ versus ‘80% of you in the audience confused line 5 with line 6 on your last tax return, which cost you $500. Here’s how to not make that mistake.’ ”

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