The end of an era for professional speakers | 4 necessary changes

ByBill Belew

The end of an era for professional speakers | 4 necessary changes

Cruise Ship Speaker - Belew

Cruise Ship Speaker – Belew

Professional speakers have to change – including the cruise ship speakers.

The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be = things are not the way they used to be

Audiences are changing. Millennials. The Me-generation. The people in the chairs are different now than they use to be.

It used to be that a speaker could get up and weave a good story and attendees would listen attentively. Not so any more.

Related: 4 Best Practices for Top Notch Professional Speakers

I spoke not long ago in Phoenix to a large group of web designers, ALL of whom had their laptops with them, opened and with a LIVE wi-fi connection. My first task was to get them to look away from their screens.

Not long ago, okay maybe it was long ago but it doesn’t feel so because I have a lot of years, listeners were content to sit passively, listen to a monologue, a lecture, a diatribe, a rant … or watch a panel solve the world’s problems … more likely fight over what they perceive them to be. Not any more.

Speakers used to be the center of attention, the entertainer, the expert and the listeners were expected to absorb bits, pieces, globs of wisdom imparted by the guy upstairs, er, up on the stage.

Not any more. Listeners can now check facts instantly and question the authority of the speaker and may often know more and have more experience than the speaker but doesn’t have the years or the experience.

Audiences are now the center of attention. It’s not about the expert but about the learner. The audience is thinking “why should I care? make it relevant or I am going back to my laptop/smartphone.”

If the speaker doesn’t understand this shift, s/he may still get up on stage … but they are not likely to be invited back.

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About the author

Bill Belew administrator

Bill Belew, PhD, MFA, MSc also has a very interesting career. Bill spent a half dozen years in the US Navy climbing the enlisted ranks and making the jump to Lieutenant where he served as a Surface Warfare, Communications and Intelligence Officer. While aboard ship, in the Navy, he sailed enough nautical miles to circumnavigate the globeAfter his military time, Bill spent nearly 20 years in the Far East – Japan, China, Russia and India where he taught university and created and grew his own language school throughout Japan and Far East Russia.Bill speaks to audiences of all size, countless times yearly. He has a network of 4000+ individuals who follow him in the Silicon Valley Bay Area to learn about Social Media/inbound/content marketing. He is a weekly guest on the Social Network Station broadcast to 90+ countries from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.More than 75,000,000 people have viewed over 125,000,000 pages in his network of sites.Bill is represented by 4 cruise ship agencies that send him, literally, anywhere and everywhere in the world, and is a principal of

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