I moderated an inspirational conference recently, run by an organisation called Voice at the Table. And I was one of the speakers too. As a result I experienced 5 presentations and 15 speakers contributing to 4 panels. That’s a lot of words, ideas, slides.
What struck me throughout the day and on reflection afterwards was the importance of variety – within each presentation and across the whole event. It’s something I focus on heavily in my training by introducing people to the concept of ‘choreography’.
The reason we have to strive for variety is to engage audiences who have an ever decreasing concentration span. A stream of consciousness will no longer suffice. Waffle simply won’t do. There must be structure, verbal punctuation and contrast (of content, tone, pace, delivery, body language, visuals).
Your piece must be mapped out, minute by minute, to ensure that you are constantly surprising your audience, lifting their energy (and your own) and retaining their attention.
So, as you plan your presentation or your event, remember that variety really is the spice of corporate life.