Content Without Delivery Falls Flat
Emily Dickinson said of a writer, “She has the facts, but not the phosphorescence.” This could describe many speakers. They have content, they have statistics, they have data, they have fancy slides. But, without delivery skills, their content misses making the impact it could.
“But, my content is so important. I’ve spent hours putting it together. I’ve got the mother of all outlines, “ you cry. “Isn’t that enough?” (Gee. If you’d only put that much emotion into delivering your content.)
Consider a rocket launching a satellite into space. Delivering that satellite is the goal of the launch. That satellite is hot stuff. It’s important. But, without the rocket, also known as the delivery system, the satellite is just a bunch of metal in the dumpster-o-missions. The same goes for your content. Without a strong delivery system, your message will never get off the ground.
What goes into delivery? I’m glad you asked, since so many ignore delivery elements.
1. Your body: gestures, eye contact, posture and purposeful movement, facial expression.
2. Your voice (I know it’s a part of your body, but your voice deserves its own listing.): Variety, volume, pace, pitch, accents, inflection, intonation, breathing and the much overlooked pauses.
3. Your dress and appearance.
4. Your image: genuine or fake.
5. Your image: confident or scared.
6. Your working of the crowd before and after your presentation.
7. Your ability to read the audience and adjust your pacing and content if necessary.
8. Your ability to handle the audience.
9. Your ability to shift gears and be flexible.
10. Your ability to deal calmly with snafus.
11. Your ability to adjust your material so you can end on time or early.
12. Your ability to use slides and other audio visuals effectively.
13. Your use, or not, of notes.
14. Your focus on the audience.
15. Your willingness to practice, video record yourself and be coached.
16. Your ability to deliver a close with a call to action and a wallop.
There may be more items on the delivery list. But, you get the idea. Content is not enough. Even if you must present boring material, your delivery can bring life to it. As Alan Alda said about oatmeal, “I agree that ordinary oatmeal is very boring, but not the steel-cut Irish kind – the kind that pops in your mouth when you bite into it in little glorious bursts like a sort of gummy champagne.”
Why have oatmeal when you can have phosphorescent oatmeal? Why have content without delivery?
Phosphorescence – get you some!