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Not my audience!

I’m often the speaker, but recently I was in the audience for a full day of talks. Here’s what I learned from my experience off-stage:

  • It’s confusing when the MC introduces the speakers but also delivers presentation/s of their own
  • It’s confusing when a speaker delivers a talk that is not about their core subject (which you only find out afterwards)
  • Attention spans are really, really short. It’s easy to get bored, distracted, and worry that you’re wasting your valuable time
  • Interaction really, really works. It creates an unbelievable buzz and engagement
  • It’s irrelevant when a speaker uses their first slide to tell us who they are and what they do, because, at that point, we don’t care. We already assume they have something useful to say, otherwise they wouldn’t be on the agenda in the first place and we wouldn’t have booked to attend the event. The MC can introduce them, then, if we like what the speaker says, we will take what we want out of the talk. Only if they’re a really good fit with what we need, we’ll take up their call to action at the end
  • It’s useful when a speaker repeats audience questions so the rest of us can hear
  • There is never enough time for audience networking. The most useful conversations and opportunities arise from the discussions we have with each other
  • Counter-intuitively, the less speakers do, the more the audience gets out of it

photo credit: francisco_osorio via photopin cc

Categories: Blog

1 Comment

SpeakingSuccess (@celiadelaney) · 28 February 2014 at 11:09 pm

So true!

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