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Every time I attend a conference I like to think about the things I learned that day. Today I attended a particular conference and kept asking myself this same question with no great answer,
"What did I learn today?"
there wasn't anything coming to mind right away so after the conference I headed to the gym hoping that maybe a little something would emerge mid WOD but nope.
The only thing that kept rolling around were a few annoying things from throughout the day that stuck with me. I originally had about 5 or so of these. But have whittled it down to the top 4.
I will state it now that these things are totally observational and personally subjective. These are my opinions. The reason that I am sharing is in hopes that others keep these things in mind while we head into next round of conferences.
Mocking Sales People
Mocking our staff is mocking us as a dealership and as a business. You are saying that we aren't aware of this issue and are doing nothing to improve it. When you say things that mock sales people you are perpetually promoting a negative stereotype that we are working hard to fix.
Look, when you stand on stage mocking (even hypothetically) our staff it's disrespectful. You might as well come over to my house, sit on my couch and make fun of my fat dog. I don't even know you, yet you feel confident enough to insult me and my team along with everyone else's in the room. We do not operate a dealership of cavemen.
If your point is built on a framework riddled with insults. I'll pass.
Not Really Knowing What You're Talking About
Being a public speaker is not an easy job.. Being a public speaker and a great story teller is even harder. The majority of speakers I hear are neither of those things.
I don't say that to be mean. But unless you are running a company by day and moonlighting as the head of your local toastmasters club, the total number of presentations you give in a year is probably equal to that of your staff meetings.
I'll assume you know what I mean.
Half of your presentation should not be about the history of the iPhone.
You are on stage with an audience and you are wasting your words on common knowledge. Or, you waste your time trying to make points by sharing your version of some fairly well known articles. But as mentioned before you're an awful story teller and either leave out massive chunks or talk so much that you never relate it back to your topic.
Lastly, how many times does it need to be said.. Please do not read every word of every line of every slide. You have a very small window of time for me to judge how valuable i find your content.
Stick to your points, the things you know inside and out and can argue anyone up and down the block on. Let your passion come through your message and let me decide how to interpret it.
Dont assume i'm dumb and don't assume that you need to be educator of the digital landscape over the past 15 years to a room full of you people you won't ever see again in about 45 minutes.
Just get on with it…
Sourcing Your Data as Confidential
I Can't Even.. I mean.. Really...
If you were presenting data parsed from internal information talking about the results of internal studies and it was being shared in a public type setting then fine.
But when you stand on stage and present data in a fashion to show people the why's and how's they should do something.
You should 100% matter of fact, without a doubt, show your work, Source your slides.
Because literally I could stand up in the middle of the room and say
"Excuse me my good man, But, I can't disagree with you more. I think that number should be 67."
and then you would say "Based on what?"
and then I would say "Reasons."
That would be the end of of our conversation. Because, according to your data source you are not allowed to share the sauce that created those colorful charts therefor you can not argue against the validity of my ridiculous claim with your so called fact.
You are up a creek, sans paddle.
When you source your data as "Confidential" you might as well say..
"Here's some numbers I just made up because how else could I get those charts to look like rainbow stairs?"
Yeah, it's that ridiculous.
Being a presenter doesn't have to be hard. Talk to what you know about and don't talk to the slides.
Share with us your knowledge not your ability to recite techcrunch articles from a decade ago.
Lastly, can well just stop stereotyping salespeople as cavemen.
Let's just get on with it already.
Written by Chris K Leslie
Based in Las Vegas, NV. Chris K Leslie mainly writes about Automotive, Marketing, Fitness and the Internet. He heads up Digital Marketing for the Heinrich Automotive Group in Las Vegas, NV