By Mandi Stanley, CSP
For five years I served on the faculty of the American Management Association International, traveling and teaching one-day seminars. More specifically, I worked the five-cities-in-five-days circuit. For example, Monday might find me in Denver; Tuesday in Salt Lake City; Wednesday in Boise; Thursday in Seattle; and Friday in Portland, Oregon.
To prepare us for what was sometimes a grueling and definitely jam-packed traveling and speaking schedule, new presenters were required to complete an intense two-week orientation. My training manager at the time shared some of the best advice I received early in my career as a professional speaker. It was a takeoff on the old Franklin D. Roosevelt one-liner:
Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
It’s as simple as this:
And then, be seated.
This advice was the ultimate secret to being well received and producing a successful seminar. So, take an honest assessment. Do you like to hear yourself talk? Many executive speakers do.
Do you know people who tend to speak just a little too long, maybe 10-15 minutes after they should have wrapped up their presentation? It’s a common tendency of many business presenters. It helps to think about it from the audience’s perspective. Have you ever been in the audience as a presenter droned on and on and thought: “Enough is enough. Stick a fork in it; you’re done.” You lean to your next-seat neighbor and whisper, “Her presentation was really good—if she had just stopped 10 minutes ago.” Some speakers just don’t know when to stop talking.
No-Panic Pro Tip: Always leave them longing for more.
This article was originally posted at mandistanley.com.
Mandi Stanley, CSP is a faculty member of LEADERSHIP USA.