Don’t be a verbal pack rat!

This is inspired by Seth Godin’s post entitled, “Sorry we’re out of time.”

Here is the part which spoke to me:

“I often hear presenters who always manage to need just two more minutes than the time allows. So, instead of exiting gracefully when there’s ten seconds left on the clock, they either steal time from the next person or try to rush through six slides and their conclusion.

What a waste.

Do you save the most important part of the meeting for the end, when everyone is already standing?

Plan for the end.”

OK I am guilty as charged as I always have more than enough material to cover in a presentation right up to the end.  Why do I do this?  I am a researcher at heart and I want to impart as much information as I can so my audience gets their money’s worth.  That is what I appreciate in a speaker, lots of information flying at me.  I am a verbal pack rat, just like “ahem” the electronic and paper files that are overflowing in my office.

But does my audience really get their money’s worth from this verbal pack rat? Is it really respectful for me to barrage them with more information than they can process in the time allotted?

Thank you Seth. Verbal pack rats are often guilty of one-way communication. I never really thought about it this way. I am going to shorten my presentation material into more easily digestible bites, and think about the end, since the ending comments are often the longest lasting with audiences.  I will also leave some time for questions and interaction with the audience, which is also respectful.

This really epitomizes cooperative communication. Consider how every audience wants to be addressed with respect. Give them enough time to process the information you present and the opportunity to get answers to their questions.

Think about the end. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  ~ Dr. Maya Angelou

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