What is the one thing that makes a great talk?

A gentleman asked me this question at an event and I was surprised I had an answer:

You have to care.

If you care about the people you are speaking to, you will develop something they find useful. If you care about your topic, you’ll find stories and information that bring your idea to life. If you care about the enduring value of your work, you will fine tune your delivery as your speaking engagements energise your work in a virtuous cycle.

Here’s an example of how caring changed delivery.

An HR team asked me to help them develop a more exciting safety and governance workshop for their supervisors. They lamented, “Our supervisors aren’t engaged. They see this training as something they just have to do.”

I asked: “What for you, the trainers, is interesting about the material?”

They said they found it dry and boring.

It’s no surprise their teams also found it boring.

Once I helped the team uncover what they found valuable about their content, they became enthusiastic. Their delivery was more creative and they came up with a convincing value proposition for their audience.

It takes work to translate caring to excellent execution. But if you care, you’ll have the energy, motivation and curiosity to do it.

So, when you are offered an opportunity to speak in 2019, ask yourself: “What do I care about, and how do I deliver to make it happen?”

Rachael West is a strategic speaker coach, facilitator and social entrepreneur. She loves helping engineers, scientists and people with something important to tell the world, craft a meaningful, engaging presentation they can use again and again to help their field shine. Email rachael@rachaelwest.com.au to learn more.

Published by rachaelwest

Strategic Speaker Coach | Founder | Engineer

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