How To Be An Interesting Speaker!

How To Be An Interesting Speaker!
How To Be An Interesting Speaker!

I was once coaching a senior Occupation Health and Safety expert on how to be more interesting when presenting her ideas to groups of people.
"I seem to struggle terribly" she told me. "I stand there on stage, and they all sit there in their own little worlds with none of us coming anywhere near connecting with each other." She looked defeated. "I just want to get it over and done with and can't wait to sit down."
A few discerning questions helped me discover what the real problem was. She'd fallen for the trap of focussing solely on the corporate-type structure of dry bullet points and listing these to her listeners, interspersed with mind-numbing passages of stuff she'd read out. Little wonder her audience was turned off and going to sleep! We soon remedied the situation in a permanent way.

I got her to reflect on her family and circle of friends then asked her: "Does any sort of mishap come to mind within these groups as a result of carelessness?" She thought for a moment then shared a remarkable story.
A friend of her daughter had quickly wiped up something she had spilt on the kitchen floor then went on preparing a bottle for her little baby she was holding in her arms. She suddenly slipped over backwards on the partially wet floor and instinctively threw out her free arm to steady herself, the other desperately holding her little one. Unfortunately her hand landed on the jagged edge of an open cat-food tin and cut through all the tendons in the palm of her hand. She was rushed to hospital and spent many weeks undergoing remedial surgery in an attempt to regain full use of her damaged hand.

When my client had finished sharing this story of just how fast our lives can be changed by rushed carelessness, other examples from her lengthy experience as a senior OHS inspector and State Prosecutor flooded into her mind. Like the time a lady said her customary goodbyes to her electrician husband as he rushed off to work while she bundled the kids into the car for school. She never saw him again.
A routine task of screwing a plastic fuse box onto a wall caused his death when his drill hit a live wire where it wasn't supposed to be. What's more he'd just swapped his rubber-soled boots for a pair of ordinary leather shoes because they were full of water. As a result he was no longer properly insulated and the current went right through him.

This tragedy could have been avoided by tracing the wire from its source and making sure all was safe - and waiting for his boots to dry before drilling into the wall.
It's compelling examples like these in your presentations - and only compelling examples like these - that stick in people's minds and make them think twice!

The key thing to remember here is, bullet points are good at getting factual information across but no good at conveying complex ideas like those embodied in the above stories. So breathe life into sterile, stand-alone statements and bullet points with vivid, illustrative examples your listeners will find hard to forget!
Laurie Smale is an inspirational speaker, author and Master Speaking Coach. He believes that engaging stories such as these are the real secret in getting our ideas across effectively. If you want to Communicate with Confidence Fast, be it with one person or in front of 1000, visit The added bonus is that with all his mind-opening products and coaching you get Laurie as your personal email coach for life!
© Copyright - Laurie Smale. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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