Wow… The last couple of mornings have been foggy in Sydney. As I’ve jumped into the car and headed out for the day I’ve needed to take things a bit easier because the fog has impaired my ability to see other cars on the road and their capacity to see me. While most drivers have driven sensibly there’s always a few who won’t change their behaviour – no matter what the conditions! They’re the ones pulled over to the side of the road exchanging details with other unfortunate drivers, with unhappy expressions as they glare at their shiny cars and the squashed bumper bars and bonnets they now have!
So many presentations suffer from fog… and speakers that refuse to modify their “behaviour”. The speaker starts off and assumes the audience sees the speech destination as clearly he or she does. They then takes off down the road – leaving the audience behind (and bewildered) to get frustrated and annoyed.
When your audience sits down to listen to you speak they need you to clear the fog first. Are you a speaker that fails to clear the fog and just takes off – leaving an audience that will try and make its own way to a destination (who knows if they ever get to the intended destination???). When the foggy speaker finishes you’ll find unhappy audience members congregating at the side of the room exchanging details as they leave the scene of yet another speaking accident.
When you write your speeches do you take the time to clear the fog? Use the opening of your speech to ensure your audience understands the journey you are going to take them on. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts as you watch the fog that surrounds your audience disappear and you’ll have a room full of willing passengers, ready to join you at your destination.