How to Avoid the New Speaker Danger Zone



Stay Out of the “New Speaker Danger Zone” with these 5 Easy Strategies

So many people have been launched into the speaking and presenting stratosphere with the onset of worldwide virtual meetings this year. Many novice speakers and presenters think that their main task is to transfer knowledge. Ironically, to make a real impact on their audience they need to simplify the information and invest more time in learning about their audience ahead of time for the greatest impact.

Knowledge transfer is essential but “you must adjust how much” you give your audience.

Many people who speak and present are intelligent with a lot of knowledge about their subject. This sounds great on the surface, but it’s puts you in the “The Curse of Knowledge Danger Zone”…you know so much that you quickly overwhelm an audience with your knowledge. When this happens, you lose them.

How can you avoid this?

  1. Get educated ahead of time about your audience’s level of knowledge.

As you prepare your talk or presentation, find out as much as possible about who you’ll be speaking to. This will help you tailor your presentation to them. If you can’t find out ahead of time, you can gauge their level knowledge at the beginning of your talk or presentation by simply asking them.

  1. Before you begin preparing, write down what your audience knows about your topic now, and what you want them to know after your talk or presentation.

This way, you can really connect with them, give them the nuggets they need to know, and you won’t overwhelm them with too much information.

  1.  Recognize that speaking with impact is about more than knowledge transfer alone.

Most speakers have a ‘higher purpose’ when they present to a group: they want to inspire, convince, motivate or stimulate action. Knowledge can form the basis for this, but it is seldom enough. In fact, too much knowledge paralyzes your audience.

  1. Determine how you want them to feel a result of your presentation.

It is scientifically proven that people remember presentations and talks more easily when their feelings are involved. Passion persuades as much as data does.

  1. Decide what you want them to do after your talk or presentation.

Often we want to create some type of behavioral change in our audience. In this case, you’ll want to be clear about that change as you prepare and also during your presentation.


An added bonus of this approach?… Stress reduction for you!

If you take the time to streamline the information you share, write down what your audience knows, feels and does before you present, and will know, feel and do afterwards, you will multiply your impact. You’ll also gain insight and confidence, and your stress level will drop noticeably.

These are major benefits for you and for your audience!