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Production Values Won’t Save a Bad Speech | Media Training | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Public speaking tip of the day: do not chunk up your speech with production values. I see this mistake being made again and again at conventions and conferences: someone stands up, fiddles around with the Power Point for 10 minutes because things weren’t exactly right, and then they begin after a delay. Then you see flashes and lights and zooms and dissolves and maybe it is not as boring as just simple bullet points but is you ask anyone what they remember from the speech five minutes later, they won’t tell you much.

Here’s the problem with production values: its never been easier to create fancy video productions and powerpoint slides and have special effects with music and all the tools that Steven Spielberg had for years. That part is very easy. The hard part is still competing with the Steven Spielberg’s of the world. If you are directing peoples focus to special effects and production values, at a subconscious level they will compare you to the Hollywood blockbuster they saw at the mall last weekend. That is not a competition you want to fight in because you won’t win.

When you are speaking, people are listening and watching you. It is your chance to connect with them and paint a picture with words so you can leave them with something truly memorable and insightful. I am not opposed to nice production values but that should be an afterthought. Your primary focus should be explaining and talking to someone and get to understand your idea and passion for why you think it is important. Now you are competing with the boring data dumpers before and after you and that is a battle you can win every time.

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