Making the Information-giving Speech Enjoyable 2 - Splitting the Facts into Bite-size Parts
Don’t bore your audience with tedious, lengthy lists. Split the information into fun, digestible bites.
The informative speech is essentially a lesson. Think about the classes you learnt the most in at school. Now this might have been because you loved the subject and had a knack for it, but consider those classes you pitched up to indifferently but soon began to enjoy. This happened because of the teacher; Mr or Mrs Ace put the information over with creativity and zest, and you were enthralled.
A presentation I pitched up to indifferently but was very quickly enthralled by was delivered half a lifetime ago when I was working at an investment bank. The presenter’s task was to inform trading floor staff about the measures the bank was taking to combat money laundering, and what we should do if we were suspicious about potential buyers. The topic was interesting, but many speakers wouldn’t have thought beyond presenting the information as a dos and don’ts list, which would have become a long and tedious affair.
Happily, the speaker saw the potential tedium pitfall and avoided it by splitting his information into distinct, bite-size parts. He presented us with four colourful would-be launderers and, through each, demonstrated the different tell-tale signs they might exhibit, and the various procedures we should follow if we came up against such characters.
Admittedly, the speaker was wonderfully gregarious; seeing this refined Englishman morph into a feisty, female Bolivian felon as he roleplayed a phone-call was hilarious. But, performance aside, his grouping of information into bite-size parts was the thing that made his talk terrific and tedium-free.
His presentation had humans - characters if you like - at the heart of it. Without a money launderer there isn’t a problem. So always consider if ‘characters’ are an essential part of your information-giving speech and, if so, could you use them as colourful conduits to inform.
“Emma delivers our mayoral training together with group courses. Her preparation formulas really boost delegates’ confidence; they take the fear out of addressing large audiences. Essentially though, she’s a highly effective trainer. The before and after is always very obvious.”