Delivering your presentation

3 Near Fatal Diseases for the Corporate Presenter- How sick are you?

There’s an epidemic of near-fatal speaker’s diseases to be seen in corporate life. Here’s a quick outline of three of them, with the key symptoms for each to help you decide if you know anybody who’s suffering.  If you do, there’s a simple cure. Outlined at the end of the article.

Abstraction poisoning: This occurs most frequently in marketing teams and management consultancies but can be found everywhere that clever people gather with the intention of (either deliberately, or accidentally) misrepresenting the truth. This disease leads to the disappearance of meaning and is often a precursor to the rise of depression and the contemplation mass defection from the business where the malaise takes hold.

Symptoms include long sentences peppered with abstract nouns, pompous phrases and circular constructions that cause the listener to Zzzzzzzzzz. Key indicators are frequent use of words like integrity, quality, empowerment and value-added, left unexplained and hanging there like a fog for the audience to stumble through.

Diffidencia nervosa: An incredibly infectious disease of the emotions caused by scarring of the cerebral cortex after repeated exposure to senior management ‘head scrubbing’.  It causes people to say stuff and sound as if they are indifferent about whatever it is they have said.  This sickness is commonly found in corporate environments where everyone in the ‘C suite’ (abstraction) talks of the importance of ‘passion’ in the abstract but deliver messages as if actually showing ‘passion’ was a sacking offence.

The symptoms are varied but include fixed smiles contradicted by joyless eyes, and an overreliance on meaningless phrases like ‘it has to be fun to work here…’ and ‘people are our most valuable asset’, spoken as if only to prove that Meherabian knew what he was talking about.

Bulletosis mania: A pandemic in US and European business indicated by an overreliance on interminable lists in any public communication. Essentially self-harming for all of the following reasons.

Symptoms include mass somnolence in public kwo nz online pokies places where 100 or more people gather for ‘updates’ and ‘Town Hall Meetings’ and are often discovered 4 hours later as dribbling, snoring coma patients.  Often accompanied by outbreaks of ‘Bullshit Bingo’.

In a bid to be balanced, I must admit that I’ve suffered from all of these diseases at some stage.  And often they’re recurring.  But awareness has helped me plenty. I now follow a 12 step programme to recovery.  If you want to nominate someone and help them improve, forward this article to them for the eternal gratitude of their colleagues.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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