Are you inclined to look at both sides of an issue with an open mind before you draw conclusions?
Great, you’re likely to make more considered decisions.
However, as a speaker…
Avoid trying to cover too many bases with your speeches.
Make it your business to share a clear opinion.
Unlike many a politician who, in an effort to please every possible audience, is purposely vague – often with a view to appealing to every quarter and/or avoidance of being backed into a corner by opponents who would happily criticize their positions on given topics…
…Steer away from this road. It will make you less persuasive.
It’s never a good idea to have your audience less than clear regarding your viewpoint.
Whether your arguments are right or wrong:
- Stand for something
- Make your point of view plain from the outset
- Don’t make audiences have to work too hard to figure out what you’re saying
It’s not about being opinionated; it’s about helping your audience to do more after you sit down.
Understand, audiences have limited attention spans – which have diminished hugely in recent years in the face of rising information overload – and while you may want them to reach their own conclusions…
… If you don’t get their attention from the get go or there’s any confusion regarding what you’re ‘really’ saying:
- You run the risk of people switching off long before you get to the reason you stood up to speak in the first place, and
- Your audience members won’t thank you if they feel they have to work too hard to figure out – never mind buy – your arguments.
The latter is of course a disaster if you need people in your audience to be in a position to influence others not present – which is commonly the case when trying to lay the seeds for future business decisions. It’s in your interests to make their job easier.
How do you react when you come across speakers who don’t get to the point?