• open panel

Need More Time in Your Conference Presentation? Drop the Self-Discovery Monologue


One of the common challenges for conference presenters is that you have so much great content to share and a limited time in which to share it.


Whether you’re speaking for 15 minutes to 2 hours, if you’re struggling to have enough time to cover the important items and still leave time for Q&A, there is one place that you can begin that works like a charm — eliminate the Self-Discovery Monologue.


The Self-Discovery Monologue


I confess.  I’ve been guilty of the Self-Discovery Monologue.


It sounds something like this…


When I was first asked to talk on this subject, I went to the dictionary and looked up the word…


When Grover asked me to come here this week to talk about [presentation topic] I thought to myself…


What’s wrong with the Self-Discovery Monologue?


You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with the Self-Discovery Monologue?  It is story right?  And aren’t you always telling us to use stories, Kelly?”


Well here’s the thing.


Best-case scenario, the Self-Discovery Monologue is just a way for you to get started talking about your topic because you can’t think of any other way to get going.  Worse case, it is more about your anxiety about speaking in front of the group and brings no benefit to the audience hearing it.


In 99.9678%* of the time, you can eliminate the Self-Discovery Monologue from the presentation all together without impacting the quality of your presentation.  (*OK, 99.9678% is a rough estimate and not actually based quantitative analysis – but it feels about correct!)


If you’re looking for ways to find more time in your presentation, my vote is to delete the Self-Discovery Monologue in favor of anything that doesn’t tell the story about how you decided to talk about what you’re going to talk about in your presentation.


Test the theory for yourself.   If you were planning on starting with the Self-Discovery Monologue, ask yourself if the audience would miss anything if you drop everything in your presentation from when you utter the words, “When I was first asked to speak about this subject, I thought to myself…” until you actually say what you’re going to talk about.  My guess is you’ll validate my statistic.