I attend quite a few conferences. There are speakers that I don’t care what they are sharing about, I want to attend. So I took a step back and asked why…what’s the difference?
- Chaos: If you threw your session together and didn’t practice, chances are people can tell. If you can’t find time, why should I spend time?
- Energy of speaker: If you are monotone, I’m asleep. If you look like you are bored, I’m asleep. If I can feel your passion for what you are sharing, I can even ignore any nerves that might be distracting.
- Professional: The powerpoint template – check. The formal suit to present it – check. The lack of emotion in the material – check. So professional, right? I don’t think so. People are sitting in session after session, we want variety! Don’t be afraid to experiment against the perceived expectation/norm.
- Polished: Does it transition from point to point? Are you overwhelming people with sharing everything you know? Or does it stay focused and deep? Have you practiced speaking in front of people? Have you practiced facilitating questions during your session?
- New: Are they bringing new material on a fairly regular basis? Sure, I have sessions that people continue to ask for but I also bring new topics. My passions evolved, my sessions should too. I have seen some speakers giving the same session for years and nothing else…that just makes me sad.
- Goal: What’s the story you want your session to tell? Does it make me think? Does it inspire me? As much as I appreciate learning what a leader should do or not do, I often find the journey getting there to be the difficult part. Are you presenting nirvana without helping them get there beyond awareness?
If I really boil it down what’s the difference – what’s the one thing that makes me highly recommend a speaker…they passionately and openly share their journey with learning, When they encourage others to grow not just by facts but by stories…I’m hooked.
Next time you have to share, are you sharing the end result only or how you got there?