Average Speakers Suck. Don’t be Average. (Flashback Friday #10)
On Fridays, we dip into the article archive and emerge with one of the most memorable articles. We’ll dust it off, shine a light on it, and consider it from a new perspective.
This week, we also spotlight recent releases that may help you enrich your public speaking library.
Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books
Check out these recently released public speaking and communications books:
- Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas by John Pollack
- Presentations (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series) by Harvard Business Review
- Presentation Genius: 40 Insights From the Science of Presenting by Simon Raybould
- Presentation Advantage: How to Inform and Persuade Any Audience by Kory Kogon, Breck England, and Julie Schmidt
- Training Design Basics, 2nd Edition by Saul Carliner
Today’s Flashback Article
This week, we’re headed back to February 2010 for one of the most controversial articles in Six Minutes lore which makes the simple claim that average speakers are not effective speakers.
I recall this article affectionately as the chocolate chip cookie article (read it to find out why). I wrote it for all those people who refuse to work on their speaking skills, citing that they are “already an average speaker” as if this was something to be proud about.
Statistically speaking, you can suck and still be an average speaker. Most of your colleagues are. This is the Death by PowerPoint abyss. This is the 15 filler words per minute zone. This is the “What the heck is this speaker talking about?” zone.
Five and a half years later, has anything changed? I think there are positive signs. More people today are aware of the low quality presentations around them and are trying to do something about it. But the rate of change is slow, and I think the average presentation is, still, not very good.
Read the article, and let me know whether you agree: