In my recent issue of my e-mail newsletter: Stage Time, I insisted that speakers and presenters get the book: Made to Stick. Well, if you were walking with me in the park this morning, you would have felt the warm Vegas sun, and seen the beautiful mountains, but we wouldn’t have been talking. I had my headphones on, and I was totally engrossed in the audio version of the book.
The authors talk about an experiment where people were asked to “tap out” popular music with their fingers to see if a listener could name the tune. The fascinating part about it was that, even though they were tapping simple popular songs, only just above two percent were recognized. What blew my mind — and the reason I’m writing this blog — was the next figure they mentioned. The people doing the tapping were asked what are the chances the listener would be able to name the tune? The answer was about fifty percent! See, we THINK our listeners “get it.
The authors point out the problem: the “tapper” knows the song and has the song playing clearly in their heads. The tapper can’t imagine (can’t put themselves in the listeners mindset) anybody NOT getting it. It’s so clear to them!
That is our very challenge as presenters. We know clearly what we are trying to say. We sometimes can’t believe why the listeners don’t understand us. The problem doesn’t usually lie with them. It’s our lack of ability to put ourselves in their shoes. Quite often, when we are doing our Get Coached to Speak Boot Camp, my co-presenter and I will often ask the audience, “was that clear to you?” Invariably, the answer is no. Therefore, the fourth habit that I teach speakers is to “Crave Feedback.”
Our presentations are not “sticky” unless the audience thinks they are. What we think doesn’t matter.
Stage time, Stage time, Stage time,
2001 World Champion of Public Speaking
P.S. Presentations that aren’t “sticky” are soon forgotten.
Are you making any of these Top 10 Speaking Mistakes?