In every story we hear or every event we are a part of, there is a lesson that we can draw out.
I played in a golf tournament yesterday where the money raised was going to a charity. After the round of golf, we all gathered in the clubhouse for the requisite lunch and thank you speeches. A representative from the charity was also there to tell us about how the money raised would be used. This is a critical way to let us know about the charity and how the money will help people and tie everything back to a great cause. The only problem was, the sound was terrible and the video she brought to show us could only be seen by about 1/3 of the people in the room. Sure enough, two minutes into the video, most people lost interest and started talking, which is unfortunate, but to be expected. So what can we learn from this:
- Know your audience – after a beautiful day of golf, the last thing people wanted to do was sit still and listen to speeches for extended periods – have short, pithy and provocative points when presenting to an audience with a short attention span
- Know your location – scope out the location to ensure maximum ability for people to see and hear what you are presenting
- Make a connection – think of what would be in the self-interest of the audience and appeal to it
- Be interesting – if people sense you are giving the same generic speech you have given 50 times prior, they will tune out. Speak with energy and passion and make the audience believe this is the first time you have ever delivered your speech