Your number-one mission as a speaker is to take something that matters deeply to you and to rebuild it inside the minds of your listeners. We’ll call that something an idea. (Chris Anderson, TED curator)
A Checklist for Your Talk
- Does your talk deliver a gift to the audience, rather than trying to promote or sell something to them?
- Is your talk about a powerful idea that others can learn / benefit from, rather than about yourself or your organization?
- Does your talk have a clear red thread running through it?
- Does your talk take the audience on a journey? Does it start together with the audience, in a place that is accessible for the average person in the room? Does it carry the audience along, with every step in the talk?
- Does your talk connect with the audience by showing vulnerability / humility / humor?
- Is your message unexpected / breaking a pattern / charting unknown territory / a mystery story you solve together with the audience?
- Does your talk include stories that feature real characters / bring in concrete details / provide interesting anecdotes?
- Does your talk explain difficult concepts by starting where the audience is / giving concrete examples / starting with the easy bits / using comparisons or metaphors / presenting ideas one by one?
- Does your talk build up credibility by describing personal examples / telling stories of real people / supporting your ideas with research data / borrowing someone else's credibility?
- Does your talk relate to your audience's emotions? Is it related to something they already care about?
- Are your introduction and conclusion memorable? Is your big idea clear from the first 10 seconds, and reinforced in the conclusion?
- Are your slides more like the punchline of your talk, rather than the talk itself? Are you talking between the slides, rather than about the slides?
- Are you giving the audience a concrete take-away that they can use practically, in their own lives, as soon as they have left the conference venue?
The Presentation is You. (Ioana Lazarescu, The Speaker Coaching Diaries)