Know your format

One thing I’ve noticed at this conference is that if a speaker starts their talk with “I’m going to talk a bit about the subject covered in my book”, it’s rarely worth my time to listen. Why?

First of all, it’ll be boring. We’re trained to write in a more formal style than we’d ever use in a conversation, and a book is a very linear format. Once you’ve designed your information to be presented in that way and you’re using the text as your reference point, it’s hard to separate out the information and present it in a radically different format. Most people don’t even really try.

Secondly, I can read faster than you can speak. Unless you have some kind of spectacular Powerpoint skillz or are a particularly engaging speaker I’ll get more out of skimming your book, or even a review of your book. This exception to this of course is Kathy Sierra, whose skillz are undeniable and whose written content is already in prime brain-grabbing form.

This can be applied to any podcast too. If you aren’t making the best use of the format and giving me something I couldn’t get from the written word, you’re wasting my time. Cut that out, you guys!


One response to “Know your format

  1. Things are too quiet around here. I need some updates from the conference.

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