Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making your speech more than a one-note wonder

Two women speakers recently blogged about their speaking experiences and used social networks and social media to make the experience more than a one-note wonder.

Perhaps you've seen the one-note wonder speaking at a conference. That speaker sees his speech as the event, an opportunity to push out ideas, rather than the start of an experience or conversation that includes others. It's the same approach bemoaned by Arik Hansen in Can great leaders be followers too?  He describes one-note wonders this way:
These people who are too smart to think they couldn’t learn a thing or two from anyone else at an event or conference. These people who are way too busy to sit in an audience and listen to someone else talk about their area of passion or expertise (God forbid anyone else steal the spotlight). These people who are basically saying, “I’m smart and I have no need to be here other than the fact that I want to tell you how smart I am.”
Having read that, it was all the more refreshing to find these two perspectives from women speakers:
  • Let more people hear your music by widening the size of the hall, virtually: Amber Naslund, who hasn't yet made it to a TED conference as a speaker, nonetheless picks up on its tagline "Ideas worth spreading" and share these great ideas for 4 ways to give legs to your presentation.  Her take: Using social tools to share your ideas, notes and slides can let your presentations "stretch their legs and visit new places."
  • Use all the other players around you, and listen to the notes they strike to make a symphony:  Philanthropy consultant Lucy Bernholz gave a keynote at a conference of philanthropy communicators, and writes here about how she started listening first to a conversation on Twitter that took place before the conference began, incorporated it into her slides, and continued relaying other conversations through this blog post.  Here's her great speaker attitude: "I'm trying to see patterns in the chaos, connections between the dots, and links between the conversations. If I can find meaning from the rivers of ideas and offer insights then I can help others navigate the multiplying choices.
What do you do to avoid being a one-note wonder and to incorporate your audience into a long-playing hit? Share your ideas and tips in the comments.

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