Hit the Road Jack!*
Did I really tell my wife I was going to “hit the road and become a professional speaker?”
There’s something, for me, that’s very rewarding about connecting with an audience. Preparing and delivering a message that resonates with people, that people respond to, that prompts people to take action, requires time, energy and thought – a lot of thought and a lot of practice. If done well, though, it’s worthwhile. I know because people tell me I’ve made a difference in their lives because of it.
Presenting vs. Training
The art of public speaking has been around since ancient Athens. Two of the most popular forms of speaking for business today are presenting and training. Why? When done well, both are extremely effective.
But while both have their place in business, presenting and training are different. Let’s take a closer look at each and see how they differ, what they have in common, and what presenters and trainers can learn from each other.
Presenters deliver a message. Sometimes they make offers or introduce new topics. Presentations are used to inform, entertain or persuade. Sometimes audience members are left to come to their own conclusions. Presenters often use slides to help get their point across. Presenters:
- Tell stories
- Promote a cause
- Show and Tell
Trainers teach. They explain and instruct in order for learning to take place. Frequently, trainers confirm comprehension by testing through various means. Trainers use examples to reinforce what they have taught. Trainers:
- Utilize two-way communication
- Facilitate learning and retention through
The best presenters and trainers make it look easy (although it’s not). Often trainers present and presenters train — it can get confusing. World-class presenters and trainers are effective communicators. Both are educators and have a passion for their topic, their audience and their craft.
Often, the best speakers are a hybrid – they combine best practices from training and presenting to connect with their audience and achieve their objectives.
What’s in a Name?
Whatever you call it — Training, Presenting, Selling or Campaigning, a Lecture, Discussion or an Informational Session — delivering a message that resonates begins by asking questions. Before considering which techniques to use, ask yourself the following:
What are the Desired Outcomes?
Do you want people to take a specific action as a result of being in attendance? Do you want them to think, act, or vote a certain way?
Know Your Audience
Demographics play an important role in how you approach your audience. Are your attendees children, teens, adults or seniors? Are they new employees, seasoned experts or upper management? Delivering training to a dozen employees sitting at workstations requires a different approach than delivering a keynote to a thousand strangers.
Why Is Your Audience There?
How much time do you have with them? Where will the event take place? How much money and what resources and technology do you have at your disposal? How much time do you have to prepare?
All of this information can be used to determine which techniques and best practices from presenting and training can and should be utilized. Be open to trying new techniques. I speak a lot, but I also listen, which makes me a better speaker.
So, What Did I Really Tell My Wife?
Did I tell her I’m ready to hit the road and become a professional speaker? No, what I said many years ago was “if I didn’t love my home life and family so much, I’d hit the road and become a professional speaker.” I still conduct plenty of presentations and trainings — and I love doing both. I have no regrets.
If you’d like more time in front of an audience, or help thinking through your next speaking engagement and the results you want from giving it, contact Crest for a free 30-minute consultation, then kick back and * Enjoy Ray Charles singing this classic from 1961!
Thanks and happy listening,
At Crest, we help companies:
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists