The Problem With Most Presentation Advice Is...

Inspired by this insightful blog post from the amazing Seth Godin - who says, "The problem with most business and leadership advice is that it's a little like this:

How to draw an owl
How to draw an owl

The two circles aren't the point. Getting the two circles right is a good idea, but lots of people manage that part. No, the difficult part is learning to see what an owl looks like."

And it reminded me that coaching speakers is much the same way.

I could easily write the same post, for speakers.  But this time I would say:

"The problem with most presentation advice is that it's a little like this... The two circles - or the top 10 list of ways to give a great talk - or the 3-step process - or the "rules" we follow - aren't the point. Getting the basics of speaking right is a good idea; and lots of  people manage that part.  No, the difficult part is learning to see what a good talk looks like.

Because beyond people hearing you, and not getting distracted by your mannerisms or your slide deck - there's a whole realm of "artistry" that makes a talk a talk that moves people. After you "draw the two circles" - the actual challenge for a coach is to turn those two circles into a piece of art.

It's possible, of course - and immensely rewarding when together you create something significant.  But it depends on the vision of your coach, and her ability to pull the artist out of you.

Sally ZimneyComment