Wikipedia is a blessing; Wikipedia is a curse. Especially for public speakers. It’s a blessing because you can investigate rapidly on endless topics. You can easily add logical information (logos) to your speeches and presentations. You can verify quotes. Endless opportunities. But – Wikipedia is also a curse. It’s a curse because your audience can cross-check literally any piece of theoretical information in one second with the tip of their finger.
Maslow’s Pyramid? Got it!
Leadership models? Got it!
Kai Zen? Boring, got it!
Presenting to inform has almost become obsolete in the age of Wikipedia. So – next time you present something, ask yourself, Is this a Wikipedia speech? If it’s a Wikipedia speech, I strongly suggest that you replace parts of your content and add other elements instead. Elements that cannot be found on Wikipedia or elsewhere on the web. Only then you’ll be an interesting, intriguing, exciting speaker for your audience.
And where do you find such content? That’s easy. Look at yourself in the mirror. You are that fountain of fabulous content.
Here are four unique ways to inspire your audience in the age of Wikipedia.
Did you read my article on CSI? If not, go and read it! Your challenges (C) in your professional and private life, your struggles (S) to overcome these challenges – that’s the stuff Wikipedia can never provide! And what really inspires your audience is your introspection (I) about what you learned from these struggles.
In our company we’ve made mistakes, big mistakes. Today I’ll share with you the three biggest mistakes we made and the big lessons we learned from these mistakes. A speech that starts like this can only be one thing – a big success!
Obviously we cannot reinvent the wheel. It always seems like everything is there already. What you should do though as a public speaker is go the extra mile. Add a new perspective to concepts! Something new, something different. For example, I invented the drainpipe. CSI is a new and sticky nomenclature for what is commonly known as the hero’s journey. What is your next presentation about? And what new perspective can you provide?
In the end, one thing is obvious. You’ll have to add much more personal stuff to your communication. Stories only you’ve experienced, lessons only you’ve learned, examples only you know and perspectives only you see. That’s the way to go. Then, Wikipedia will never be a curse for you, only a blessing.