Got to evaluate a Toastmasters speech today. Evaluating is hard. This particular speech was made easier by the fact the presenter approached me beforehand and told me to “let ’em have it” — in other words, not to go easy and really help them. I usually do that, but it’s amazing how few people really give good tips. In this case, there wasn’t much to comment on — the speech was really good.But one thing I did put the proverbial ping in for was the “I’m done. Oops. No I’m not.” In this case, there was a close, call for action, complete with a touch of humor and a very clear conclusion. I sat back, ready to clap and enjoy. But wait, there’s more (sound like a Ginzu knife commercial?). Then there was another one-liner, another recap, and a reworded conclusion, which wasn’t as effective as the first. It was a let-down.The rule of thumb on presenting (and lots of other things in life) is to leave them wanting more. Leave as the champion. Exit when you’re popularity is best. If you nail the dismount, don’t get back on the beam. OK, enough analogies. Point is, end strong, but end. Brett Favre was (some might say is) a great quarterback. But everyone agrees he’s no longer the QB he once was. And he seems absolutely bent on playing some more. I’ve seen tons of speakers do the same thing. It lessens the audience’s memory to recap the recap again and again repeatedly over and over redundantly again and again. And again. Just quit.
End strong and memorable. And walk away.
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