Speaking: Entertain, Don’t TeachPosted: March 17, 2013 | Author: Hilary Mason | Filed under: speaking | Tags: teaching | 6 Comments »
It’s tempting to think of a talk as the opportunity to take a body of knowledge and to educate your audience about that body of knowledge. You have something in your head and you want to get it into theirs.
Making education your top priority leads to terrible talks, with an unhappy audience that won’t retain any of the information you wanted them to remember, anyway. Instead, think about how you can create a compelling narrative through your material, layering in the deep technical content so that the most attentive listeners will take away a deep understanding while the people who are only half paying attention will, at the very least, enjoy the experience.
I can’t think of any talk that demonstrates this better than Gary Bernhardt’s WAT:
Remember: you’re entertaining, not educating.
This article is part of my series of speaking hacks for introverts and nerds. Read about the motivation here.