How many times have you heard someone say this and not keep that promise? I know I have attended numerous tech presentations, preachers’ sermons and company meetings where the speaker would use say lines, but end up blabbing endlessly.
I am sure some speeches/presentations are necessarily long (to be able to discuss all necessary information or to drive a point). My issue here is that you are setting the expectations of your audience. They unconsciously turn on their 5-minute timer, and once that’s up their minds start to wander.
To be honest, I have been guilty of this and, here’s what I have learned… it is all about preparation.
I once gave a talk in a YFC talk camp that extended way beyond the allotted time and it was all because I was not prepared. I thought that it was gonna be a quick one (so I told the audience that) because I had not prepared well and had “nothing” to say. What happened was, I kept trying to find ways to present my idea and ended up giving all sorts of anecdotes and stories to drive my point.
Come to think of it, this was the goal of the Toastmaster speech exercise that I did on my last day* as club member, Speech #3: Get to the Point!
“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” — Mark Twain
“My father gave me these hints on speech-making: “Be sincere… be brief… be seated.”” — James Roosevelt
“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening” — Dorothy Sarnoff
*I had to leave the club since I switched jobs and moved to another location.
Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.
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