Boomer audiences are a fairly compliant crowd. Even if the presentation isn’t all that great, they will typically sit through most presentations. Not so with the younger generations! They won’t tolerate a canned speech that is not relevant to their world. They will make their feelings known with their two feet by walking out or their two fingers by twittering in the backchannel. Add in a dose of Hollywood, and today’s audiences are demanding edutainment of a quality they cannot access via the web on their own.
The result? Professional speakers have GOT to bring their “A” game in order to thrive in this business. That means you do your homework with the client, truly understanding their opportunities or troubles. You can’t just phone in your standard speech, either. They want to see their fingerprints all over your speech – addressing their issues in their words.
Some call this customizing your speech – which far exceeds putting the client logo on your handouts. Weave in timely, unique anecdotes, stories, examples, illustrations, urban legends, best practices etc. Let the audience know that they are with a professional who understands their situation and gives them confidence, hope and inspiration for a better future!
BTW, if you do use a slideshow, it should provide relevant visual references that complement the speech and don’t dominate it. As a professional, your slideshow should ROCK! (see Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen, Nancy Duarte’s Slideology and Dave Paradi’s Visual Slide Revolution for what I mean by “rocks”).