Bouncing around during a presentation is another key point I teach
in my public speaking course.
I recently had one of the toughest speaking engagements of my career.
It was a three hour afternoon session on Reverend Martin Luther King's
federal holiday in Baltimore, Maryland.
It wasn't hard because I had my presentation on Reverend King's special
day, but for many other reasons. One of those reasons was that the audience
consisted of the entire employees of one company. They ranged from the
lowest level to the highest level in the company.
This may not sound like a difficult situation at first but it can be.
When you have all managers or all executives, it is relatively easy
to focus in on their interests and concerns. But when you have
such a varied group, you have to 'bounce around' and not spend too much
time on the interests and concerns of any one type of audience member.
If you do, you will lose the interest of all the other groups.
In the poem "IF" by Rudyard Kipling, a couplet says:
"If you can think, and not make thoughts your master, If you can speak
and not make words your aim..."
Or if you can grow to speak as a master, you can aim high and you have
all the world think the same dream, like Reverend King did over four
decades ago when he said in his memorable speech, "I have a dream...".
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