As I travel around the country attending conferences and conventions I have become very aware of a truth that crosses every industry and job level… Speaking is not communicating.
While we are talking about it, writing is not communicating, and going through the slide deck is not communicating either. These are activities. Communication is a result. Did I make a difference? Did I deliver a memorable message?
We have all attended meetings, speeches, and other events where someone spoke and we zoned out, we missed their point, or we started looking at our emails. I don’t think there is any such thing as boring material, only boring speakers.
Last January in Tuscan, an Institute participant in one of my classes said that her office has a rule: If you are caught reading emails in a meeting or while someone was talking, then you had to pay a dollar. I suggest an amendment to that rule. I believe that if someone is caught reading emails while you are talking, you, the speaker, should put a dollar in the kitty. It means you were not communicating information in a way that showed you understood your audience’s needs and you did not find a compelling way to deliver the information. You were wasting their time.
Like the tree falling in the woods, if you speak and nobody remembers what you said . . . did you speak?
If you are speaking, then your job is to deliver valuable, memorable information to the mind and heart of your listener. That’s communication.
Nobody for any reason, at any time, ever has a right to be boring.