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Whachu tawkin' bout, Willis? (er, Seth)

Seth Godin addressed how people talk to groups in this post. As someone who regularly address large groups of people, it caught my attention. Some thoughts (in a random sort of order):

I don't know that speaking to large groups is "broken". I think the ways in which some people approach speaking to large groups is broken.

I've listened to many speeches (some speakers calls them "sermons").

There is an element of emotion in speaking to groups. Does this mean speaking to groups should always stir up emotions? And I don't just mean weepy, touchy-feely emotions, but also passion for a cause or any other range of emotions. Are there times it's just about passing on information?

Speaking to a group really means speaking to a collective group of individuals. It's vital for any speaker to recognize the audience is coming from as many different places/backgrounds as there are people in the audience. And people bring their baggage into whatever arena they are listening/learning. Speakers must craft messages in ways that people can hear new-to-them information and accomodate that with what they already know. That's how people learn; by figuring out how the new info fits with the info they already have. And that means prior misunderstandings, prior misinformation, and existing gaps in 'basic' information have to be addressed or overcome.

Don't just read. Please, don't just read it. That's one of the reasons I learned to read. If it's to be read, just give it to me and let me read it.

Images aid words. And sometimes should altogether replace words.

Again, about the emotion. It's also essential that the speaker be passionate about whatever it is they're talking about. If it doesn't mean any more to you than that, why the heck should I care? (or waste my time listening to something that apparently isn't all that important)

The "linear and unpacable" comment makes A LOT of sense to me. I think it's some kind of AD...

Maybe that's one reason narrative (story-telling) is such an important means of communicating, especially in our sound-bite culture.

Perhaps exploring alternatives to speeching (thanks dp via dan) is worth considering if it's that important to share the message. And for me, the message IS that important.

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