Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Public speaking

Live from nerd land here, I have the dubious pleasure of listening to
hours of geek presentation. There are actually some remarkably good
speakers and bad speakers.

I should say, I am not an experienced speaker. I have done it, and
don't mind it, but I am no expert.

Still I am trying to dissect what is making some people so boring. It
isn't content. The presentation now is of critical interest to me. And
I may die of boredom.

There is a voice and accent component. If you have to struggle to
understand someone, sometimes you pay more attention. Sometimes less.

There are sleepy voices with little inflection. That doesn't help.

But I believe the problem underneath it all is the attitude of the
speaker. If they are excited, they tend to communicate. They interject
things into the practiced speech. They tell stories. I am a horrible
jokester when I present but I imagine you can accomplish the same
enthusiasm by adding any color.

Finally, there seems to be some element of personality that helps.
Particularly in a large room, the speaker is a talking head 100 feet
away. So, telling stories about how you were initially surprised by
something, excited to see something last week, etc all helps the
audience connect.

But, in the end I believe there are times when people feel they ought
to be stoic and formal. I am not sure nerdcon 2009 is the time

1 comment:

Capt. BS said...

I'm calling B.S. on this post. You know what you're doing in a public speaking arena, and that's why every year your alma mater asks you to be on panels and give talks.

But yes, I think the key to an effective presentation is, to steal the central line from The Tao of Steve: be desireless, be excellent, and be gone.