Monday, May 23

Why I hate speaking to groups of twenty

For years, I have had a pretty significant fear of public speaking. Thankfully, through blood, sweat, and tears, I have been moderately successful at resolving that. For the last several years, I have had the honor and, yes, pleasure of speaking with groups ranging from two people to many thousand.

Here is a curious observation from that.
  • I like speaking with three people, because I can customize my material to the very specific needs of the individuals.
  • When I speak to hundreds or thousands, the audience seems pretty happy (with the exception of Stephen Downes!) if I can give some useful information and perspectives, and keep them relatively entertained and motivated to go deeper. There is also a lot of energy to tap and play back.

But fifteen to twenty people in an audience is always very, very hard. It is small enough so that people feel that the presentation should be highly customized (like a one:three experience), yet there are always many groups who want to take the conversation in very different directions (high level, low level a, low level b, etc).

I will continue to play with techniques, but for now, twenty is a very lonely number.


Anonymous said...

If you can break them up into 4 groups of five, have them talk amongst themselves and give them each a short related assignment and a chance to report out to one another - makes you as much a facilitator as speaker-who-kknows-all.

Clark Aldrich said...

I couldn't agree more. That is tougher in a one hour presentation than a two to five hour workship.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried joining Toastmasters? I thought I was fairly good until I joined a year ago and now I'm much more comfortable with any size group. Use the locater at find a group. You may want to visit 2 or 3 clubs to find one with the right chemistry for you.

Clark Aldrich said...

The point is less about comfort and more about dynamics. An obvious extrapolation as well is the challenges of an instructor in front of twenty people for a day, because again the needs of different groups within the classroom can be so different.

jay said...

As one who used to be petrified by the thought of public speaking and now finds it energizing, your post grabbed my attention.

You can never speak to a group of twenty. You can only speak to one person at a time. For at least each phrase, tell it to one individual, not losing eye contact. Shift to someone else while pausing, never while speaking.

Five years ago I put together a collection of tips and trircks that have worked for me. There's a bit more here.

Frankly, Clark, I found your delivery in New Brunswick two weeks back top-notch. Look at the video of your session on the CSTD site to see what I mean.

Sunaina Maharaj said...

As a student i have to attend tutorials and lectures. tutorials generally have between 15-20 people whereas lectures have about 100+ people..and as a member of the audience..i personally think that you're right in saying that smaller groups sometimes expect very different things!

Anonymous said...

runescape money runescape gold runescape money runescape gold wow power leveling wow powerleveling Warcraft Power Leveling Warcraft PowerLeveling buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape gold runescape money runescape accounts runescape gp dofus kamas buy dofus kamas Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold dofus kamas cheap runescape money cheap runescape gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium Hellgate money Tabula Rasa gold tabula rasa money lotro gold buy lotro gold Tabula Rasa Credit Tabula Rasa Credits Hellgate gold Hellgate London gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas 血管瘤 肝血管瘤 音乐剧 北京富码电视 富码电视 富码电视台 7天酒店 7天连锁酒店 7天连锁 自清洗过滤器 过滤器 压力开关 压力传感器 流量开关 流量计 液位计 液位开关 温湿度记录仪 风速仪 可燃气体检测仪 wow power leveling wow powerleveling Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling
runescape money runescape gold wow power leveling 棕榈树
eve isk
eve online isk
eve isk
eve online isk

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 感情挽回, 外遇沖開, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇, 外遇, 外遇, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信