Public Speaking – Zig When Others Zag

 Posted on: June 21 2016

Last month I had the opportunity to present to the Florida State Sports Commissions’ convention. Along with nineteen other speakers, I had the chance to talk about my sport for ten minutes. As luck would have it, I got the chance to present last. Twentieth out of twenty. I was the only speaker between my audience and the Coors Light. The room was lost.

So I zigged. I broke the pattern of presentation predictability. I engaged the room and got my point across.

Here are just a couple tips that you can consider using when you are in a multiple presenter situation.

1.     Keep your message simple: Your audience will have seen dozens if not hundreds of slides. Most will be forgotten. So focus on one or two key points and keep your slides simple.

2.     Don’t let technology get in the way of your message: You have a video? Great. Doesn’t support your key message? Leave it at home. A misplaced video just gives your audience to check out and check their phones.

3.     Own the room. Chances are you have either a hand held or a lav. mike. There is no reason for you to present from the front of the room. Don’t be afraid to walk and present at the same time. Use the aisles, the sides and the back of the room. Break through the invisible wall in front of the room. Become one with the audience.  If you need someone to run slides, ask a person sitting in front. Anyone can run a clicker.

4.     Be your organization’s biggest fan.  If your audience got nothing out of my presentation but “Glen was psyched about orienteering, I need to call him.” then my presentation was successful. You’re not going to sign a deal in ten minutes.

5.     If possible, bring your local club or organizing committee. The quicker you can place the local folks together, you have done your job; and you are on to another state.

Hopefully these tips will help you in the future. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me at 410.802.1125 or

Glen Schorr – Executive Director, Orienteering USA/ NASC Board of Directors – Rights Holder Representative, NASC Mentoring Committee Chair


Anonymous User
Glen is absolutely right, he got the room smiling after a long day and did so by breaking trends, good on ya Mate!
-Matt Dunn
Anonymous User
thumbs up!

Post Comment
Only registered users may post comments.

Back to Blog