As A Speaker, Don’t Linger

One thing I talk about constantly with public speakers is: don’t linger. When your speech or presentation is over, you want the audience saying, “That’s it? I want to hear more.” You don’t want them saying, “It’s about time, I thought they’d never shut up.”

Often a great speech gets reduced to an okay speech because it went on too long. You made a point, you moved your audience, you took them on an emotional roller coaster, and then, you just kept on going. Your speech should be comprehensive enough that it has a clear beginning, middle and end and some definitive takeaway, but not so long that it drags and causes the viewers to change how they feel about you.

Think about speeches (or even movies) you’ve seen, where the presentation starts out really strong and you’re totally engaged. But then, invariably, there’s a lull and you start fidgeting in your seat. Then you’re looking at your watch, then you’re taking out your phone, and the next thing you know you’re totally disengaged and annoyed.

Then, when you’ve had enough and you’re ready for the show to be over, there’s repetition or filler content that adds no value! And now you’re really angry. So much so, that when the performance finally does end, all the good stuff you felt in the beginning is long gone; a distant memory.

As a speaker, you work so hard and spend so much effort getting the audience to love you and buy into your message. Don’t sabotage yourself by beating that message into the ground and boring your audience. Remember: you don’t have to give away everything; leave a little something to the imagination.

A great way to make sure you’re on point with this, is to rehearse your speech to a trusted colleague or friend. Someone who will give you honest feedback. As speakers, we’re often too close to our material and we need an unbiased set of eyes and ears. That simple exercise can make all the difference.

To chat more about writing and delivering a great speech, contact me for a free consultation.

Have a great day!