A waste of everyone’s time

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Martin Bryant’s post titled The art of saying nothing.

It’s a common problem; a high-profile speaker from a big-name firm takes to the stage and manages to say nothing new or interesting during the whole 20 minutes they’re on stage. Any challenging question about the company’s future plans or a controversial episode in its recent past is met with an “I’m not going to comment on that.”

It makes sense – especially for employees of public companies who don’t want to be responsible for a dive in stock price thanks to an unfortunate turn of phrase – but the watching audience is left with… nothing.

Why appear at all if you’re just going to reiterate your company’s mission or story that has been reported time and time again?

This may sound like the moan of a writer looking for stories, but conferences are a powerful opportunity for companies to get a message across. It’s not enough to simply turn up. Give us some news! If you can’t give us news, at least make sure that the person you send to speak on stage has an engaging story to tell.

I’m not a fan of it and frankly I’d rather choose to talk when I got something new to say and can talk somewhat freely. Nothing worst than having to stick solid to a script or not talk about the elephant in the room. Also not a fan of giving the same presentation again and again, I like tweak and change it for the audience.

The opportunity to talk shouldn’t be taken lightly even after years. Its a chance to touch hearts and minds, find collaborators and understand better ways of telling your story.

If your not… your wasting everyones time.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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