Red Skelton ShowA lot of you are too young to remember comedian Red Skelton, but he’s on my mind whenever doing a presentation or lectoring at church Tuesday mornings.

Red Skelton explained once that he removed all his jewelry whenever he was in front of an audience. The reason for this strategy? He didn’t want to have anything on his hands which might distract from his performance.

His strategy has always stuck with me, and unless I need my watch to track the presentation time, I always take my watch and ring off before presenting.

Beyond jewelry, the idea of not distracting your audience from your “performance” is important for any presenter to consider. Maybe it’s not jewelry, but do you have vocal or physical mannerisms which divert your audience’s attention from what you’re communicating? Not sure? Here are four easy ways to find out:

  • Ask someone who has seen you present many times if there’s anything they’ve noticed.
  • Ask the same question of several people who’ve only seen you present once.
  • Audio record yourself to check for vocal distractions.
  • Video yourself to spot physical distractions you may be creating.

These simple steps are definitely worthwhile as part of a strategy to help make sure you aren’t your own worst enemy trying to find a creative way to make a presentation to an audience. – Mike Brown

If you’d like to add an interactive, educationally-stimulating presentation on strategy, creativity, innovation, branding, social media or a variety of other topics to your event, Mike Brown is the answer. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how Mike can get your audience members Brainzooming!

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2 Responses to “Holding an Audience’s Attention – Speaking Strategy from Red Skelton”

  1. Dave J. says:

    Please, please remove the change from your pocket. Pretend they are sewn shut.

    • Mike Brown says:

      That’s an important one Dave. I used to have a boss that made one of my co-workers empty his pockets and give everything to my boss before he presented!