Radio interview: Phil on presenting

Yesterday I once again had the opportunity to appear on the US-based radio show Life Lessons, on, hosted by Rick Tocquigny. You can listen here.

This time, it was all about presenting and storytelling, so it’s effectively a 30-minute podcast for anyone interested in presentations. We covered some aspects of storytelling and oratory, dissected a very short speech by Winston Churchill, talked about books by Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds and Chip & Dan Heath, and mentioned Steve Jobs and TED a couple of times.

A key moment was where we spoke about the bar being a lot higher nowadays for speakers, teachers and presenters. Everyone can see great presentations at TED and by Steve Jobs, and on the flip-side, everyone has shiny tactile screens sitting in their pockets or in front of them, tempting them away from the poor presenter. Expectations are higher, attention spans are lower, and there is much more competition for attention.

My conclusion here was that if the audience’s attention wanes, it’s not because there’s something wrong with them (Attention Deficit Disorder for example) – it’s mostly because your talk isn’t interesting enough to deserve their attention.

That’s why it’s important to make an effort to be interesting, connect with your audience, and make them relate to your subject. You can’t take their attention for granted any more.

That said, I hope you enjoy the interview and get something out of it. Thanks to Rick for inviting me back, and thanks to you for listening.


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