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The Evolution of a Public Speaker

These are the four phases, most speakers go through on their way to becoming a great speaker:

At first, it’s all about the content. It’s about making sure that every tiny detail is in the presentation. They tell us everything they know so that we acknowledge how competent they are.

Of course, as a speaker matures, she discovers that all of this will only make sense if we, the audience, get it. So, she starts to structure her presentation in a way that is not only logically meaningful, but that makes sense didactically. How can she help us make sense of it? Where are we coming from? What do we already know? Instead of transmitting knowledge, the speaker now aims to create understanding.

But at some point, she stops to ask herself: Why should my audience even care for this? So, she looks for and highlights customer benefits. She paints vivid pictures of what’s in it for us so that we recognize the presenter as the hero she is – the hero who serves us these benefits on a silver plate.

But finally, she realises that it’s not even about her at all. It’s entirely about us. So, she puts us at the center of her attention and starts her work at who we are and what matters to us.

Good speakers make us see the things they care about. They serve us their cause as something we should care about.

Great speakers however change our lives because they make us see the things we care about but hadn’t figured out ourselves.

Rather than to speak so that we get them they get us and speak about it.

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