Al Gore Teaches Presenters A Very Convenient Truth

by drjim on August 18, 2009

Al Gore Knows How To Reach An Audience<br>(c) - 2007

Al Gore Knows How To Reach An Audience(c) – 2007

Interestingly enough, this post has nothing to do with global warming. I really don’t care which side of the “warming / not warming” argument you find yourself on right now. The one thing that I think that we can all agree on is that there is quite a debate going on right now – somebody has done a good job of talking this topic up!

Grass Roots Speaking

Carl Duivenvoorden cares deeply about global warming issues and has spent time learning about how he can give speeches talking about this topic. If you want to be effective, you go to the source – in this case you go to Al Gore.

Al Gore wrote the book “An Inconvenient Truth“. He is a skilled and effective public speaker – after all, he’s a politician. Lately he has been going around teaching folks how to get the word out about global warming – this means teaching them how to effectively speak in public.

A Speaker’s Three Budgets

Al Gore teaches speakers to remember that when they take the stage, they start to spend from three different budgets at the same time. They need to accomplish the goal of their speech and get off the stage before they exceed any of their budgets. The three budgets are:

  • Time: the clock starts ticking when you open your mouth. You always need to respect your audience’s time and make sure that you finish on time no matter when you started.
  • Complexity: there has to be a purpose to your speech – you are not just talking to make people think that you are smart. You have an obligation to make it so that both yourself and your information will be understood (and retained) by your audience.
  • Hope: this is one that we all too often overlook. We need to carefully plan out the way that our speech will end. We need to make sure that we leave our audience with a sense of being able to change things no matter if we are talking to them about finances or global warming.

Extras That Make A Speech Work

Just doing a great job of speaking often isn’t enough. Al Gore teaches that if you want to maximize the impact of your message, you’ve got to add three additional “extras” to your speech in order to make the whole thing work:

  • Use Powerful Visuals: no, this doesn’t mean that you need to creat 400 PowerPoint slides. Rather, you need to carefully create just enough visuals to enhance your words – the visuals should echo what you are saying and make your message stick in your audience’s mind.
  • Organize Your Visuals: this should be second nature, but people still do it wrong so it’s good to bring it up again: in your visuals, flow your concepts from left to right and top to bottom, use as little text as possible, and give your audience time to focus on the visual as you speak – don’t just be whipping through a lot of slides.
  • Worry About The Transitions: The “flow” of your speech is almost as important as the words that you use. You need to create smooth transitions between the different “chapters” in your speech so that your audience can stay with you from start to finish.

Final Thoughts

No matter what subject you are talking about, you are going to have to use emotion in order to make your message stick. Ultimately your goal is to reach out and touch your audience’s hearts. In order to do this you are going to have to use vocal tones to draw your audience to you and use your conviction and passion to connect with your audience. Learn to do this right and you’ll be able to intimately connect with your audience and make an lasting impact in their lives.

Questions For You

How good of a job do you do managing the three budgets that Al Gore says you need to stay on top of? Which one is the most difficult for you to manage? Are you happy with the visuals that you use? What could be done to make them more effective? Leave me a comment and tell me what you are thinking.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I would like to be allowed to see more PowerPoint slides. Ok, not really. In fact I could probably live the rest of my life without seeing another PowerPoint slide – I think that I’ve seen my limit! Since I probably can’t avoid seeing more slides, then perhaps at least we can talk about what we can do to make them more fun

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Teriann November 6, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Hey, I can’t find your contact information but your web design layout looked rearranged on firefox and IE. Anyways, i just suscribd to your rss.

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Dr. Jim Anderson November 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Teriann: thanks for the head’s up — I’ll look into what’s up with the display issues…

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