Public Speaking Fail #1: Irrelevance

Irrelevant

“Yeah sure, I get it… that’s all interesting, but so what?”

Jeff Weiner on Irrelevance

Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, blogs about a public speaking fail – and three lessons he learnt from the experience.  He delivered a speech that he had delivered 15 times over the previous year.  When he finished, he experienced this:

Says Jeff “Surprised by the lukewarm reaction, I sought out the head of the sales team for his feedback. His response was a series of simple, but insightful questions that went something like this:

Me: That didn’t go as well as I had expected. Any thoughts on what I could have done differently?

Him: Sure. Who did you present to?

Me: Salespeople.

Him: And what do salespeople do?

Me: Sell.

Him: And how much of your presentation enabled them to sell more stuff?

Me: Oh.”

Make it Relevant

What is a great presentation?  It allows the audience to be better at something they care about.

How much of your presentation allows the audience to do something that is important to them better? how much helps sales people sell more? how much helps managers get more productivity, discipline, engagement out of their team? how much helps programmers program more effectively?

4 comments

  1. christinaoshaughnessy · · Reply

    Absolutely spot on!

  2. An important lesson indeed! You might have the greatest speech in the world but if you cannot answer one simple question – Why should the audience care? – you are either giving the wrong speech, or giving the speech to the wrong audience.

    1. Back to the power of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)

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