"NOW we're talking!" That's what I said aloud when I recently watched a YouTube video of comedian Demetri Martin perform without any bells or whistles. On the stage were three things: Demetri, a stool, and a glass of water. Oh, and about half-way into the gig he produced a flip chart which contained pages of simple drawings that accompanied his jokes.
It was a relief to not be distracted by somber lighting, slides with too many illegible words, and confusion about where to put our attention. With Demetri, our eye knew exactly where to be. And to his credit, he was dressed plainly: ordinary shoes, non-decript pants, a plain t-shirt, and a well-fitting unzipped sweatshirt. The only note-worthy element was his signature Beatles-style haircut.
As a coach, my objective for each client is for them be able to do it this way. If all your technical tools and devices were snatched away, could you stand alone and deliver a memorable message?
Become that kind of speaker.
(This is a photo of me teaching "Manners Can Be Fun!" at Winners' Camp for teens.)