I recently attended a conference where one of the keynote presenters didn’t have a prepared talk. Instead he decided to “riff”. I’ve seen him present two other times. The first time (on his way up, I suppose), he had a prepared presentation. The last two times were basically ad hoc tips and advice.
Here are the five reasons I don’t like to watch presentations that are unstructured:
1) Meandering Presentations
Riffs are by definition unplanned and wandering. The value of the points can be hit or miss.
2) Lack of Visuals
There are no visual or charts to help to support the presenter’s points.
3) Lack of New Facts or Thought Leadership
The presenter doesn’t challenge him/herself to over-deliver and present some new facts, examples or thought leadership.
4) No Specifics Communicated in Advance
There are no specific goals for the session documented in advance, so you don’t really know what you’re going to get.
5) Low Value Placed on Attendee Time
The presenter seems to be valuing their time much more highly than that of the attendees.
I’ve seen so many presenters who have really delivered. They include Peter Shankman, Pat Flynn and Scott Monty. The value that I got from these well-planned and executed presentations was extremely high.
Have you attended any conferences or presentations recently?
What have you liked or disliked about the presentations? If you’re a speaker, what’s your opinion?