Don’t speak on a topic. Speak for an outcome – Secret #12 of star presenters [Video]

Person looking at screen full of charts and informationWhen you present, are you at risk of focusing too much on your topic?

Usually, you’re chosen as the speaker (or as a subject-matter expert for a training project) because you’ve deep knowledge of your subject. But sadly, that means it’s all too easy for your audience to become overwhelmed or confused by the detailed knowledge you might try to present.

You and your audience see your topic differently

And even if your audience are as expert as you, they won’t have exactly the same background and perspective. So again, that makes it easy to lose them, because they see your topic differently from you.

What can you do then, to help bridge that gap between your listeners’ viewpoints and your own?

Well, recently I came across this great 2-minute video by Mark Kretschmar, which could transform your approach as a speaker or trainer (or even if you design training, as I do in my role as an instructional designer):

In Mark’s words:

“Here’s what I want you to never, ever do again:
Don’t present on a topic”
Mark Kretschmar (at 0:16)

You might be wondering how you can speak in public without speaking on a topic. Thankfully, the quote below addresses that point exactly

Given that there will be a presentation or talk, Mark says:

“The real question is: Why? So what?
So that the people in the room will – what?”
Mark Kretschmar (at 1:24)

That’s a powerful way to rethink your speaking

I think that’s a such a simple yet powerful way to rethink your speaking. And it works beautifully if you’re making e-learning or other training too. Your audience’ll get much more out of it as a result, which means you’ll achieve your own speaking goals better, too.

Mark’s idea also ties in with 3 speaking tips I’ve written about before:

Focus on the outcome

So, when preparing your talk (or training material), instead of being topic-focused, focus on the outcomewhat your audience can achieve.


Over to you

What do you think of Mark’s idea? Do you think it’ll help you and your audience?

(Although I love Mark’s message, I can’t help thinking it’d be easier to take in if he didn’t keep pointing at his audience.)


See also


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