Nothing alienates an audience faster than pretending you are
better than they are. That really tees them off, mainly
because they know it isn’t true.
We’ve all, to some extent, implemented the strategy “fake it
’til you make it.” And we have seen this taken to extremes.
Sometimes a speaker adopts a speaking persona that conveys: “I have arrived. I have all the answers. If you can just
be like me, then you, too, will be . . . well . . . like me.”
Don’t you just want to slap that person? We do. But it’s a slap
of compassion, one that says “Wake up! Stop that! Nobody buys
it and even if they did they wouldn’t want to be around you!”
Other examples of pretentiousness in action:
1. Turning an invocation or introduction into a stage performance that is all about you.
2. Waxing philosophical. Making statements that are so
ambiguous and hoping the audience draws some sudden
internal insight at your mental virus. “Isn’t it nice we’re
3. Getting on a soapbox on issues unrelated to your expertise or topic, delivering a Dennis Miller-type rant.
4. Treating audiences like school kids. “Good morning. Come
on, you can do better than that. I said GOOD MORNING!”
Vistage International Presents . . .
Audiences want presenters to be humble, vulnerable and real.
CRAP happens—every day and all over the planet. And, to
some extent, we are all on the road to cutting the CRAP from
our presentations, and our lives. That’s why this article is as
much for us as it is for you. It’s a friendly and (we hope)
thoughtful reminder to all of us to recognize what separates
professionals from amateurs. So check the bottom of your
shoe carefully every time you step on stage.
Tim Gard, CSP, CPAE, is a professional
speaker, author and humor philosopher. In
addition to sharing his fall-out-of-your-seat
laughing Comic Vision seminars he also
markets a line of stress-buster tools. Visit
his Web site at www.timgard.com, e-mail
email@example.com or call 1-800-865-9939.
Dan Thurmon, CSP, is the author of Success
in Action, The Direct Path to Your Higher
Potential. He delivers action-packed keynote
presentations to global clients, teaching individuals how to stretch their abilities and sharpen
their focus. Visit www.danthurmon.com or
Rock the house in New Orleans!
It’s all about increasing your income—
onstage and off. From positioning your
unique expertise to creating recurring
revenue through products and services,
whether you have them now or not.
And what good is a product or service if you
can’t promote it? That’s why you’ll also learn
how to sell them on the Internet or from the
platform without feeling pushy.
If you want to see your income climb the
charts, you want to be in the front row at
this Jam Session.
Old School. New School. Your School.
NSA Jam Session:
Product Development Lab
Nov. 30–Dec. 2, 2007
New Orleans, La.
To learn more about Jam Session performers,
program details, host hotel information and
online registration, visit www.nsaspeaker.org.
And remember, if you attend three of
the four Jam Sessions and SpeakerPalooza,
you will get a front row seat at the opening
and closing session at the 2008 Convention
in New York City. If you didn’t attend the
NSA Jam Session on Technology, then
make New Orleans a must-see stop on
the 2007–2008 concert tour.