Speaker Tips – That’s How it’s Done!

I’ve just been to a session on Simplifying L&D with Efficient Use of Technology at the CIPD HR Development Conference. This post is much more about what I learned from watching Niall Gavin give his talk, rather than the talk itself.

Tell Your Story

Niall told us stories. Stories about how he got here. Stories about customer experiences. Stories about people he works with. He also used photos of real people doing real work to help illustrate the tale.

Be Funny

Niall used a little humour in his talk. It wasn’t a barrel of laughs, the talk wasn’t supposed to be – and it was a lot better for the inclusion of some fun. I found out only after his talk that Niall blogged about humour this very morning, check it.

Be Real

Niall fronted up and told us what didn’t work. It’s easy to pretend you’ve got it all right, it’s all working perfectly, but some of the best learning seem to come from understanding others mistakes. Sure it takes a little boldness to admit those mistakes, and it’s worth it.

Ask the Audience

Niall is the first speaker I’ve seen at the conference so far who has engaged his audience through asking us questions, instead of making assumptions about what we do and do not know. Niall also engaged us in advance via Twitter – inviting people to tell him what challenges they are facing, and how could he tweak his talk to suit us best?

There you have it. Four things I observed Niall do well. Next time you prepare for a talk – have a think about how you would like to be remembered, and maybe put some of what Niall shared into action.


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