Sunday, May 05, 2013

"I Prefer Boring and Inexperienced Speakers at Conferences" - Said No Event Attendee Ever!

The argument between content and style continues....

A friend recently attended an event where the keynote speaker was awful.  She said something to the meeting organizer who replied "yes, but he is so smart, it does not matter.... look at the content he shared.  We were all lucky to be here".  My friend disagreed and was told she did not understand the modern conference.... that everyone knows that "content is king".  YIKES.

I am not saying content does not matter.  YES, we must have valuable information at conferences --- but that is not the whole story.  If the goal is to share content we can just email a white paper and save the attendees a lot of time, money and travel hassles.  A live event is an experience, and the little things can have a big impact.  The speakers (keynotes and breakouts) set the tone for the whole event.

Speaking is a skill.  To call someone a "speaker" means they understand how to educate, inspire and motivate an audience.   I know that "motivation" has become a bad word,.... but think about the opposite of "motivation" (de-motivating, sluggish, sucks the energy out of the room).... and nobody wants those words assigned to their conference.

Being a "speaker" is not only about having words come out of your mouth... or everyone qualifies as a speaker.  It can take over 300 presentations to match Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 Hour Theory " from the book Outliers..... experience and long-term commitment impacts skill.

Just because someone is smart, or has done something cool --- it does NOT mean they belong on stage.  It is not too much to expect both content and speaking skills (and experience).

What do you think?  What was special about the best presentations you have seen at a conference?

Have A Great Day

thom singer

1 comment:

JaySDaughtry said...

I'd much rather listen to someone who knows far less and is engaging and entertaining. Maybe they make a few funny comments or tell a handful of stories that contribute to the point of their presentation. Don't bore me with data!