Blogging – it's about writing and reading with a few well place visuals to keep it interesting and speaking is about talking and listening with a few well placed visuals to keep it interesting.
Wait a minute! Could it be that blogging and public speaking have way more in common than we think?
YES – it does!
There's no point of blogging or speaking if you are NOT creating a crazy pants amount of value for your audience. Blogging is not a platform to talk about how amazing, wonderful and attractive you are (even though yes – you are all three). Public speaking is not about you. It's always about your audience.
Whether your blogging or presenting before you type a word into WordPress or create your first slide in PowerPoint, ask yourself “What value do I want my audience to takeaway?'
Knowing the value for your audience of your creation sets you on a path to world domination.
Know your audience
When blogging and speaking, it is important to know who the heck you are writing/speaking to. Why are they here? Why do they need this information? What challenges them? What pains them? What do they believe?
When you know the language that an audience speaks, you can write so they'll get you.
Scanning applies to speaking
Confession: I am a habitual blog scanner. There are so many blogs to read that I tend to scan until something GRABS me by the bottom and hollers, “Hey, read this!” Audiences are scanners too, but in a different way. According to Social Times, the average attention span dropped from 12-minutes to a teeny-tiny 5-minutes.
You're audience checks out of your presentation every 5-minutes. Because people's attention spans vary that means someone is ALWAYS not paying attention to you while you speak!
Like a blog, chunk out your information with huge headlines on PowerPoint. My rule of thumb is: Change the tenor of your presentation every 10 minutes (I guess it should be 5, eh?). Switch from heavy data talk to storytelling or from you talking to the audience interacting to keep a high level of engagement. Change it up every 10 minutes or so to keep those scanners engaged!
Stand out from the crowd!
There are a billion blogs* and a billion speakers* (*rough approximation) – so the question then becomes, “How do you stand out?” It's a requirement for speakers and bloggers. I think the answer is harnessing the power of your own voice and style. Speakers can learn from bloggers like Ash Ambrige, Erika Napolteano and Marc Ensign how to develop a distinctive voice. Bloggers can learn from great speakers about how to spin great stories. Find out what makes you unique!
Hecklers and trolls
Trolls are far more common on the Internet than they are during presentations. No one wants to be an in-person asshole in front of an entire room, and the Internet provides that added level of anonymity that trolls do so enjoy. However, on occasion there's a possibility you'll get heckled – don't feed Internet trolls with attention and the same goes for hecklers. (For more heckler help read How to Handle Hecklers in 3 Easy Steps).
Hecklers happen, but don't let it derail you from giving a great presentation (or keep you from writing).
Did I miss anything? What similarities do you see between blogging and public speaking?