About Vickie Sullivan
Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.
Written by: Vickie Sullivan | October 18, 2012
Know Your Audience, Know Your Timeslot
Public speaking rule #1: know your audience. If everyone knows this, then why did I see not one, not two, but three speakers violate that rule in one conference? All three are veterans on the platform. They know better. And all three would swear that they customized their comments.
Their blind spot: they were so focused on their schtick, their story, and their research that they didn’t see the nuances of the group. Sure, the content was targeted. But the tactics and the tone didn’t fit the audience or the timeslot.
Exhibit A: you don’t do a data dump at the end of a long day of presentations. Was the data relevant? Sure. It would have been much better received during a morning concurrent session. I saw eyes glaze over within 30 minutes. (I stayed awake by going online to shop for shoes.) Don’t expect the meeting organizers to know where to place you. We’re the pros here. Either tell them the best place to put your program or adjust what you present to the timeslot you’ve been given.