Don’t phone it in!

A few posts back, I reproduced an article by Seth Godin on the dangers of using too much data. It holds good advice for those presenting lots of statistics.

Godin is the author of ten books about marketing, change and work that are international bestsellers. His blog is one of my favourites and I recommend it to you. One of his posts, however, is hardly sufficient. Godin simply produces too much good stuff, much of which is relevant for public speakers. So look for his posts to be reproduced here from time to time (with full credit, of course).

Today’s post is about “phoning it in”, which is English jargon for doing something in an uncommitted, half-hearted way; doing something by just going through the motions. A good speaker never phones in his presentation. He prepares. He makes an effort to make it meaningful for the audience.

Think of it this way: If you present for one hour to 40 people, you are taking up an entire work week of time for a single person. That is a precious commodity in today’s time-strapped world. You should treat it as such.

Don’t phone it in. Good advice for your presentations. Good advice, in fact, for anything you do in life.


Phoning it in

by Seth Godin

This was sort of shocking, at least to me:

I was talking to a religious leader, someone who runs a congregation. She made it clear to me that on many days, it’s just a job. A job like any other, you show up, you go through the motions, you get paid.

I guess we find this disturbing because spiritual work should be real, not faked.

But isn’t your work spiritual?

I know doctors, lawyers, waiters and insurance brokers who are honestly and truly passionate about what they do. They view it as an art form, a calling, and an important (no, an essential) thing worth doing.

In fact, I don’t think there’s a relationship between what you do and how important you think the work is. I think there’s a relationship between who you are and how important you think the work is.

Life’s too short to phone it in.


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Delivery, Preparation, Seth Godin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Don’t phone it in!

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