Think that ghouls and ghosts and the long-dead only rise from their graves on Halloween? Think again.
You may have seen one of these troubled souls recently. Perhaps at work, when you sat through a presentation.
I’m talking about the Walking Dead Presenters.
The Walking Dead Presenter is wooden. He stumbles gracelessly from one sentence to another. He hangs his head and avoids eye contact. If he does raise his eyes you’ll see they are glazed over – as if he’s in another world.
His voice is a dull monotone. He’s programmed to deliver his words without passion or pause. He trips over his words, and staggers through his paragraphs. But he keeps on going. And going. And going.
What’s wrong with this poor soul? And what can we do to help? Surely he’s not like this at home. Or out with friends.
What happened is simple. He was struck down with a case of ‘presentation-itis’.
The Walking Dead Presenter caught the cruel affliction when he sat down and wrote out his presentation in silence. He wanted to impress, so he used some of his best and biggest words. And because he was judging the words by how they looked on the screen, he didn’t care that the sentences were getting longer and more complex.
Because he worked in silence, he didn’t know that some of the words wouldn’t flow easily from his tongue.
He didn’t have a plan, but he managed to write a lot. Then he tried to memorize his long essay. But he didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse.
So when he went to present, he felt nervous. He put his head down and started to read at the audience. Pretty soon he was stumbling over the big words, and running out of breath in some of the longer sentences.
All the life drained out to him. The audience shrank back in horror.
Fortunately there is a cure – a healthy dose of Talkitout™. Here’s how I guarantee to bring Walking Dead Presenters back to life:
- I teach then how to speak before they write. This releases their authentic voice and cuts down on nerves.
- I get them to focus on simple words, simple sentences, one thought per sentence. Much easier for the undead to say.
- I show them how to use the pause to overcome awkwardness.
- I get them to emphasize what’s really important in their message.
- I get them to tell stories to engage the audience and make their message memorable.
With just these few tips, I see life slowly returning to their undead eyes.
Yes, we can save those already afflicted.
But better by far that we pledge never to let another soul join the ranks of the Walking Dead Presenters.
Neil Everton has distilled a lifetime’s experience with some of the world’s top news organizations into his Media Mastery training aids for anyone worried about talking to reporters. The video, books, e-books and workbooks are available in the Podium Coaching online store.