Speech content trumps delivery

Delivery is the icing on the presentation cupcake

Did the headline make your bristle? Or nod your head in agreement? Recently, I saw a speaker who asserted that content is far more important than presentation delivery. Fifty percent of the room nodded in agreement and the other 50% began to argue for the overwhelming importance of excellent delivery.

In my oh-so humble opinion, working on vocal expression, gestures, pauses, or how you move on stage in absence of great content is equivalent to putting lipstick on a pig. (Although if you watch my recent webinar, you know I’m big on P.I.G.s)

Content is the foundation of your presentation while delivery skills can accentuate your message. Delivery is merely the icing on your content cupcake.

What do Tony Robbins & Stephen Hawking have in common?

Tony Robbins Great Speaker One’s a motivational speaker who people pay obscene amounts of money to so they can be inspired. The other is theoretical physicist who suffers from ALS which confines him to a wheel chair and he must use a computer in order to speak.

Yet when either of the two men, step on to a stage, they hold their audience with rapt attention. Why? What’s the common denominator?

Tony Robbins possess a dynamic delivery style. He takes audiences on a emotional roller coaster rides with his energy, enthusiasm and delivery skills.

Stephen Hawking physically cannot have dynamic delivery skills.

However, both men command the room and engage the audience. Why?Great Content Stephen Hawking

Amazing Content! People would not shell out $5K to see Tony Robbins’ delivery style – they pay that kind of money because his content gives great value. No one would see Stephen Hawking speak if he was not one of the most knowledgable minds on the planet.

Passion is knowledge

Audience sometimes mistake enthusiasm, delivery and energy for passion. Passion is knowledge. Passion is giving an audience great content that provides value and solves a challenge. It’s not just about delivery.

Make no mistake – I am not saying delivery is not important at all. Dynamic delivery skills are important. How you present can get in the way of great content. However, if you don’t have the content as your foundation working on your vocal expressiveness is just a waste of time (and money if you’ve hired a coach).

Since I feel so strongly about helping you develop great content, for the next few weeks we are going back to the basics – public speaking 101 – with a focus on developing amazing content that leaves your audience wanting more of what you’ve got.

This Wednesday – we are discussing the most overlooked step in developing a great speech. See you on Wednesday.

photos by: Kelly Sue & Randy Stewart, lwpkommunikacio