After attending a great number of local training sessions, regional continuing education seminars and national convention keynote speeches, I have determined there are at least five types of speakers:
#1 Hurling Harry
He merely spews memorized information from a training or seminar manual into the audience and hopes someone catches a nugget of useful information. Hurling Harry’s main focus is finishing the session on time and catching a plane to the next city.
#2 Nervous Nelly
She is very nervous. You can hear Nervous Nelly’s knees knocking together and see her hands shaking. But she usually has a few good points and is sincere and knowledgeable. She can’t wait to finish the presentation and survive the Q&A.
#3 Confident Carrie
Carrie is very confident in herself and ready to present the information. She has researched all her data and is ready for any question. Confident Carrie really likes PowerPoint slides and uses a lot of them.
#4 Keynote Kathy
She is a professional speaker, has written a book or series of books. When she walks onto the platform and begins her talk, the audience is captivated by the information, stories, lessons, humor and expert delivery. A 50-minute talk feels like five minutes and it leaves you wanting more. There are very few Keynote Kathy’s, but they are truly a gift to society.
#5 Passionate Paul
He has more than data or research to deliver to the audience. Paul has experiences in life he passionately weaves into the presentation to keep the audience hooked. He is a very sincere individual who is interested in making sure the main points of his presentation are delivered on target. He may not have an answer to every question, but the Q&A will be entertaining.
There are surely other types of speakers, but these are the ones who come to mind. I have attended a couple of Hurling Harry seminars and walked out after about 15 to 30 minutes and asked for a refund. However, I very much appreciate all the other speakers and how they are trying to help our profession.