Tuesday, April 7, 2009

College Students Have Made Me A Better Speaker

After doing five separate talks to US college students during the last two weeks, I've actually become a better speaker because of this audience.  College students, by their own admission, tend to have shorter attention spans.  My diversity talk already has a lot of audience participation while me motivational talk has less as it was designed more like a traditional keynote for general adults.

The diversity talk was a huge hit among the students while the motivational talk, which is my signature presentation, didn't fair as well.  I could see that I was losing the attention of some of the students during my motivational talk which was initially a bit of a shock to me given that this talk had done so well in the past.

Changing the motivational talk to be slightly more interactive improved the attention rates when I got to present it a second time around.  There's still more work to be done on this talk while the diversity one is already a success for this type of younger audience.

So if the motivational talk could be adjusted so that it is almost as interactive as my diversity talk, I will be able to hold the students' attention.  And if I could hold college students' attention, an older adult audience will be really easy.  This will make me a better speaker overall.