Have You Heard the World’s Worst Speaker?
I bet you have; the title of “World’s Worst Speaker” is actually shared by many! We’ve all attended events where someone ends up speaking who has NO professional speaker or presentation training. I can’t help but wonder: “Why didn’t they get help? Why didn’t they either HIRE a professional to handle their presentation or get COACHING so they would be comfortable and compelling on stage?” I’m afraid that the World’s Worst Speaker is usually the boss, the CEO, an industry expert, or the president of the company; no one has the courage to tell them they suck. Plus, they are in charge, so they just don’t care.
The Last Time I Heard the World’s Worst Speaker
I had the opportunity to present at a unique team building event earlier this year. My host had worked tirelessly for months prior to the event to assure that every detail had been handled and her guests would have an engaging, enlightening, and memorable time….and they did! It was spectacular … in nearly every way. Then it happened.
One of the executives had the opportunity to share a brief (BRIEF!?!?!) presentation to get all the attendees up to speed on some changes within the company. That exec’s five minute update turned into an 18-slide, 20-minute Power Point from Hell that brought the festivities to a screeching halt AND caused the rest of the activities to be slashed or rushed. The most amazing thing about the World’s Worst Speakers is that they are completely CLUELESS about how their presentations are received. They either don’t care or they are just so wrapped up in what they need to say that they are oblivious to the damage they’ve done to what is usually an incredible and fun event.
If You THINK You May Be “The World’s Worst Speaker”… GET HELP!
Here is the truth: IF YOU ARE A LEADER AND YOU EVER NEED TO SAY A FEW WORDS, and you don’t want to end up as the World’s Worst Speaker, GET HELP! If you own a business, head up a department, or network in your community, get speaker training and coaching!
ANY time you take the platform, make sure you are able to deliver your message in an engaging and memorable manner. Hire a professional speaker to walk you through your speech, show you how to create a compelling Power Point slide presentation, and PRACTICE what you are going to say in front of your spouse, your kids, or someone who is not intimidated by you – someone who would not be afraid of getting fired if they tell you the truth about your presentation or speaker skills.
I just saw two doctors get hammered on ABC’s Shark Tank because of their lousy presentation skills. One of the doctors defended himself: “We’re doctors, not professional presenters!” All I could think of is, “IF YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT YOURSELF, and you’re making the most important presentation of your life, WHY didn’t you get help?!” I wonder if it just doesn’t occur to doctors or executives that you CAN IMPROVE your presentation skills quickly with a little coaching!
You Don’t HAVE to Be the World’s Worst Speaker IF You Are Smart Enough to Get Help!
I just helped my dear friend, Dr. Florence Jameson, who will be presenting at the 5th Annual Volunteers in Medicine, Southern Nevada fundraising ball this coming Saturday. Florence is one of the most brilliant, compassionate people I’ve ever met in my life. She has been a force, first as head of the Nevada Medical Society (NMS) to the amazing work she does today; she has rallied doctors and providers to donate their time and money to build the first free clinic in Southern Nevada. Now, she’s on a mission to build another.
When Florence needed to write a column as President of the NMS, she asked me to help her. She needed help, too, and I know she’d forgive me for saying this! She was bogged down in details and numbers and, while those are incredibly important, putting more than a few of them in ANY column or speech will anesthetize everyone. She knew she needed help and I’ve been helping her ever since. She never wanted to be the “World’s Worst Speaker” – and while she has a natural gift for communicating, her passion for her projects often got in the way of her ability to deliver a concise message with a powerful call-to-action. Today, she requires so little help; she’s been an amazing student!
Becoming the World’s BEST Speaker – Dr. Florence Jameson
For the past five years, we have gone over every line of Florence’s speeches, eliminating any redundancies and focusing on the core message she needs to share at these important fundraising events. I not only admire her for all she has accomplished, but also because she knew that as a doctor, she had never learned presentation skills and that if she was to rally huge audiences – and huge donations – she would need the advice of someone who speaks to large audiences on a regular basis – a professional speaker!
As President of the LVCSB, I encourage you to seek coaching from a speaker you’ve heard and admired. Ask them how they do it. If you never want to be the “World’s Worst Speaker,” read Garr Reynolds’ “Presentation Zen” to discover how to put together an engaging Power Point. And NOTICE your audience – if you have your eyes open, you will know if your message is resonating with them.