Public Speaking: Good Content is Like an Ironed Shirt

December 4th, 2008 by Frank Damelio

iron-shirt-mainI remember going to my first college internship wearing a wrinkled shirt.  It was embarrassing when one of my co-interns took me aside, pointed to the wrinkles and told me “Frank, you need to press your shirts so no one notices these”.  I always thought that was interesting . . . “so no one will notice?”  Hmm, do something right and no one notices.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the affirmation: “it’s not what you say but how you say it”.  Not true.  Both content and delivery count, albeit in different ways.  Content is like the ironed shirt.  It is simply expected and assumed that you know your stuff when you present.  If your audience detects you are unprepared or not knowledgeable on your topic, bitter resentment will result from you wasting everyone’s time.  In rare cases of genius, a presenter’s content can make her shine, but in most cases solid content is simply expected, and if it’s not delivered, the presenter is wearing a “wrinkled shirt”.

Strong delivery is neither assumed nor expected.  How do I know this? Most presenters have very little skill in delivery; so that low-level becomes the norm.  If you present with weak delivery skills you simply look like everyone else.  Unless you are blatantly bumbling, there is no “wrinkled shirt.”

What does this mean to you? It means it’s easy for you to shine when you present.  Even basic delivery skills will put you head and shoulders above the rest.

Look forward to our upcoming blog entry on making a great first impression.

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One Response to “Public Speaking: Good Content is Like an Ironed Shirt”

  1. Jane McDonald Says:

    Frank, am working on our 2009 sales kickoff. Ironing my shirts as we speak. Looking forward to seeing you again in Boston. Hope all is well with you! Jane

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