I listened to a C-level presenter at a business luncheon six months ago. The first few minutes were clean and clear and then…. The fillers started with a vengeance: the next half an hour I counted over 45 “ums,” “you know’s,” and “a’s.” I couldn’t pay attention to the message…! Yes, I may listen with a different ear because it’s my profession, and still.
When you DeeTox your speeches of these killer fillers, your listeners hear a smoother and more comprehensive message.
To DeeTox from fillers, pause instead. Your listeners relish the time to consider what you’ve offered and to visualize themselves taking your advice. Add pauses, stories, humor and some statistics.
As a listener what do you remember about the last speech you heard? Was it a statistic that stood out? Was it a salient point? A story? An anecdote? Or nothing? Usually it’s the stories and the humor.
You pitch proposals and ideas to prospects; present annual or quarterly reports to boards; updates to current clients, and co-workers; new policy and procedures or several cheerleading speeches to your employees; and other myriad presentations to audiences. Some of these topics may seem boring, but no topic is boring… it’s the speaker who’s boring.
To DeeTox technical, financial or legal information that might be boring, mix up the statistics and the mundane with stories and humor. That’s right, even the most in-depth technical, financial, legal or institutional reports can have stories, testimonials, word pictures, and even humor…if you want presentations that reflect your professionalism and add pizzazz.
If you think your audience doesn’t want and need story and humor added to statistical information, then you haven’t been an audience member.
- Pause. Give your listeners time to take in your points. Rid yourself of the fillers: um, ah, you know, so, etc.
- Tell stories. Human interest stories and personal experiences lend credibility and portray you in a more “like-us” image.
- Add humor. Not everyone is funny, and telling jokes isn’t the way to guide you down that path. Humor comes from your stories, your non-verbal language, and voice inflections.
- Educate your listeners. Your listeners might have to be in your audience or they’ve chosen to attend, either way, give them valid and valuable reasons to share in the experience. They’re giving you their time.
It’s about the audience, it’s not about you. Give them added value and tools to take away; they’ll remember and appreciate you.