Sometimes I’ll hear a dynamic speaker with fancy slides and think, “Yeah. But she wasn’t as good as Dairy Queen.”
Let me explain.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary at Bacchanalia, which, on its website, bills itself as “Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurant featuring contemporary American cuisine.”
Many years ago, one of our coaches took a statistics course at a local community college. His professor had such a heavy French accent that he literally could only understand about a third of the words he said. He learned everything from reading the textbook. Most presenters that use a lot of statistics don’t do much better than that professor: the numbers come across to listeners as a foreign language.
Remember how fascinated you were the last time someone told you a detailed plot of their favorite movie?
Didn’t think so.
Detailing a movie plot is just one of “Seven Topics to Avoid if You Don’t Want to Risk Being a Bore” according to Gretchen Rubin, an author, lawyer, and former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Question: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Just one. But the light bulb has to want to change.
That’s what we tell people when they ask if they can really improve their communication skills. Of course you can improve. But, like the light bulb, only if you want to. So if you have the desire, here are a few ideas on how to improve:
“Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway.”
Those are the words of John Wayne. And, when it comes to giving presentations, they’re good words to keep in mind.
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