Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How Fresh is Your Speech?

A quick check of RottenTomatoes.com tells me which movies are Fresh right now, in the eyes of the critics.

The Muppets - 98%
Hugo - 96%
Tower Heist - 69%

On the other hand, there are a few Rotten Tomatoes out there as well:

Happy Feet 2 - 42%
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - 26%
Jack & Jill - 4%

Movies rank on the freshness scale based on their critical reviews from a wide variety of reviewers, from Roger Ebert to your local 11 year old blogger.

I enjoy Rotten Tomatoes, because it seems to be a more accurate barometer of a film's value than just 2 or 3 reviewers.

How fresh are you? If your audience were to rate you on your entertainment value, where would you rank? How about originality? Are you offering enough twists and turns? Do you offer a surprise now and then, that changes the audience's perspective?

It's all right to keep talking on the same topic, and even tell the same stories, as long as your audience keeps changing. Consider that your speech's 'first run' in the theatres. How many people are willing to hear your message again? How many are willing to buy it in book form, or on DVD/CD/MP3?

If you're putting out a remake of another speech, say updating what old speakers have said for years, as Tony Robbins did, are you original enough in your presentation to justify hearing? Are there enough new viewers of your type of material that you can recreate a speech shot for shot, as they did with the Psycho remake a few years back? Or are you willing to reboot and revitalize your material, bringing it new life through your eyes, and up to date storylines, a la the Star Trek movie in 2007?

In the movie world, there are only so many plot formulas, but they keep churning out film after film. The freshest films either evoke memories of films past (The Muppets) or give us new ways to look at old ideas (Hugo).

No matter what you speak on, someone else has spoken on it before you. What are you bringing to your topic that your audience can't get from anyone else? New information? New examples? At the very least, a new type of delivery?

5 Strategies to be a Fresh Speaker!
(No, not THAT kind of Fresh.) 

- get plenty of feedback, and actually apply some of it to your next presentation
- read the news, and be on the lookout for a new application of an old topic
- know your competition, from your predecessors to your contemporaries, and stand apart
- present with a style and a set of stories that can only come from you
- put yourself on film, and be ready to send the 'rotten' parts of your speaking to the cutting room floor

The world needs fresh speakers just as much as it need fresh movies. Be Fresh, & Deliver!

1 comment:

  1. Keeping it fresh is the toughest part of being a speaker. Reading a lot has helped me to find new perspectives and material, but what has helped the most is finding out that my life hasn’t been that boring after all and exciting things happen to me every day. It’s all a matter of paying close attention to what’s going on around me.



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