Speaking Skills for engineers, academics, technologists, and other left brained professionals
Thom Singer works as a professional speaker and often coaches business professionals, engineers, technology experts, academics, and others on how to deliver better presentations.
The biggest problem with speaking is that many people assume it is easy to do, or that it is not nearly as important as the content. Being smart or having great research does not mean that your presentation will land strong with the audience. There is more to speaking than having the right information.
In this episode Thom talks about some of the mindset shifts that are needed for non-speakers to transition from dumping statistics and data to crafting talks that move an audience to action.
The speaker needs to be clear as to “why” they are being asked to present. It is not just to share data, as a speech alone is not the best delivery tool for data. If you just want to share the research, a white paper can do a better job of that transfer of information. A speech touches people on several levels, and human to human connections are a key part of a live talk.
If you have ever been to a highly technical conference you know that some sessions can be dry and boring, while others get people talking. No speaker ever takes the stage hoping they bore the crap out of an audience, but many audiences get lost in the sea of charts and graphs.
Too much information crammed into a talk is also a killer. There are time limits to live speeches, and they must be obeyed. Going long is never the right answer. Instead, a great speaker will choose what information goes into a talk, and what gets left out. YES – sometimes you have to leave out part of the data.
Listen to this episode for more ideas on how to speaker better at conferences, and if you want Thom’s PDF on speaking tips, email him at thom (at) ThomSinger.com.