Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Lost in the Crowd
Image by tripleman via Flickr
There exists a misalignment of goals between a speaker on stage and an audience member in attendance. And as the size of the audience grows, so does the misalignment. As a speaker, I have to appeal to everyone in the room. If you've been to one of my talks, you know that I usually preface my presentation with "this may not be for you", followed by my sincere permission to get up and leave if you're not getting personal value. Hey, everyone is busy, and you're likely missing out on something else to hear me present.

This misalignment is, to a certain extent, on purpose. The concepts, ideas and offerings we discuss are rarely simple. Though I make it my personal quest to make mine as simple as possible. There are plenty of others dealing in complexity. I just want you to get better at the simple things. Yet even these simple things are easier to explain than they are to implement.

Second, the one-to-many nature of public speaking means we can't address your needs specifically. Even when we're speaking to a niche audience, as I was at the National Association of Realtors® national convention recently, the audience is still diverse. I had to deliver a talk that was salient to commercial and personal brokers, agents and service providers. By default, that means I lost some of the specificity necessary for one-on-one conversations.

One Size Doesn't Fit All

So before you go out and implement any of the changes, tactics, thoughts, strategies or ideas I -- or anyone else -- put in your head; make sure they fit you. I listened to Guy Kawasaki a few weeks back and saw a large number of people making furious notes as he told them how he uses Twitter. You can't argue that Guy hasn't been successful with using Twitter as a broadcast medium. But I would argue that none or very few of the people in attendance at that session have any business trying to use Twitter like Guy does. It's not wrong -- it just doesn't fit their goals and objectives. At least, not using it that way.

So be careful. Think it through. You don't have to be bleeding edge to be successful.

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  1. [...] large of an audience as they do if they didn’t blog about one thing and one thing only. But as I said yesterday in many more words, your mileage may vary on “expert” [...]


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