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All Shook Up

gracelandAs we were passing nearby my wife and I decided to visit Graceland. We both like Elvis Presley’s music and appreciated his talent, but are not what most people would call fans.

Perhaps this coloured our view of the visit and real fans would feel differently.

The Graceland experience was extremely efficient but very cold and remote. The staff studiously avoided engaging with anyone, while still remaining polite and business like. The crowd were chopped into groups of 25 and packed into minibuses for transport to the mansion. Everyone was given an iPad and headset for the full self guided experience.

Once in the mansion. traffic was very much one way, with, staff shouting directions at anyone who slowed down or went the wrong way. The crowds did gradually thin out but the pace was largely dictated by the commentary on the iPad. We turned ours off and moved at our own pace once we got away from the wardens.

There were some nice things to see, and we only took the mansion tour without any extras, but the way we were treated meant that we left feeling resentful and unfulfilled, but at no point did anyone do anything that we could complain about.

I know my blog should be about speaking and presentation and it may feel as if am torturing a metaphor into submission here but I have listened to so many speeches and presentations that do exactly the same thing.

People will stand up and deliver a message. It will contain all the relevant facts, there might even be some good body language, eye contact and vocal variety, but it just doesn’t do it for the audience, who leave feeling unsatisfied but can’t figure out why.

The reason that sometimes people can’t get their message across to their audience, is that they have crafted their message with themselves uppermost and not their audience. It is very unusual to have to give a speech or presentation to an unknown audience, so make sure you prepare the message with them in mind and not yourself.

We left feeling all shook up. Don’t let that happen to your audience