You know most people prefer to “wing-it” on stage? Yeah, I know they’d like to stick with their natural style but you and I know that just BS.
They prefer winging it because it’s far more draining for a speaker/presenter/communicator/trainer to take the time to know the audience. Think about the possible questions you will have to answer if you’re the kind who believes in preparing well:
- Who are these people?
- What do they really care about?
- Where do they come from? (What’s their background?)
- When did they decide to attend the event? (What could’ve trigged them to sign up for the event?)
- Why are they here?
- What do I have that I can offer them?
- How do they want to feel when I conclude?
- How would I want them to feel after having finished?
Easy? Heck, no! Answering these questions means calling up the organizer, setting up meetings/calls with the key stakeholders or perhaps even checking in with a registrant! That’s a whole lot of time just researching about your audience. Not to mention the time that you would invest in tweaking your presentation, just to ensure that it resonates with your audience.
Does that sound like (a lot of) work? It is.
That’s why it’s easier to wing in public and hope things would be just okay. But are these people even able to connect with their audience? You know the answer to that, don’t you?
There’s a reason why back in the 1860s Russell Conwell’s speech Acres of Diamond was such a hit. Despite having given the speech more than 7,000 times, Mr. Conwell took the time to visit the town where he was scheduled to speak a day or two ahead. The big idea? To meet people and soak up the culture, so that he’s able to tweak his speech in a way that truly resonates with the audience. And sure it did! There’s no freaking way one can deliver a canned speech 70 times let alone 7,000 times!
The masters of the craft know how to modify the speech to suit the context and culture. And they do their homework before even opening their mouths. That’s a lot of energy, but the connection you make is just magnificent and the impact and legacy that you leave go beyond what mere words can express.
Note: If you’re keen to study more about Mr. Conwell and his work, check out this URL.