Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why Should I Stay?

Honestly, why should I stay?

You repeat shibboleth after shibboleth, or banality after banality - stuff which are either irrelevant or cliched to death.

Why should I stay?

You stand behind the podium repeating (nearly word for word) what your (extremely boring, I'm sorry to say) slides already show.

Why should I stay?

You have no stories, no movement, barely any variation in tone, hardly a smile and zero connection. It's almost like you're using so much energy 'getting it right' that you've forgotten about 'getting it across' (effectively).

Why should I stay?

You don't seem to recognise that real value comes from a network of people learning together, as opposed to one person giving a 'lecture'. It's like you're more concerned with what you're saying that what we're learning.

Why should I stay?

You drone on and on, being entirely predictable, mechanical, adding almost no value to the textbook except becoming a walking one.

Why should I stay?

Worse of all, the best part of the workshop - lunch - has next to nothing to do with you or your lecture and thus becomes your great undoing. My blood's moving down from my head to my guts (thanks to all that beef and curry), I can say one thing with absolute honesty: I do NOT want to sit and listen to somebody drone on and on about something I can read on my own time and in a better situation.

So it's critical you put yourself in your audience's shoes the next time you're speaking. It's not about whether their bosses told them to come or if the topic is of great urgency (what topic isn't?) or if you've got loads of acronyms tagged after your last name.

It's about you giving a very convincing answer to that question burning in every one of your participants: "Why, other than the free meals, should I stay for this talk?"


doc said...

sounds like the only reason to stay is the beef & curry!!

BUT, your conscience told you to stay, because you KNOW that amidst all those droning & background noise & your wandering mind, the guy might actually come out with something profound that may change your life forever!

(yeah, right!)

blogpastor said...

As one who loves teaching, I find this post creative and riveting.