a simple lesson on public speaking

via NetApp Founder Dave Hitz, in his memoir How to Castrate a Bull:

“In public speaking, most people focus too much on the data that they want to present to their audience.  Whenever I asked Tom [Mendoza] for advice, he would always ask how I wanted the audience to feel after my talk…  Disappointed – in our performance.  Proud – of our new release.’

Next, Tom would ask what action I wanted people to take after my presentation.  ‘If you don’t want them to do anything different, why are you wasting your time talking with them?’  If you’ve reached an important milestone in a project, you might want people to feel proud of what they’ve accomplished so far, but to keep working hard until they’re done.  If a project is way off track, the feeling of disappointment could motivate people to accept and engage a new approach.

When you are clear about the feelings and actions that you hope to inspire, then – and only then – should you start to worry about the content, about what data to share to inspire those feelings.”

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