Jewelry shows offer a great opportunity of bringing together people and businesses. Is there room for improvement? Always. One of the things that matter to me is the missed opportunity of engaging audiences during talks and speeches. It could be so much better!
Experts in the room can be the most boring people, right? But why?
Maybe because excellent knowledge about their specific topic makes them enthusiastic insiders unable to get their ideas across to those who aren't experts.
Two common pitfalls:
1. Going into the matter way too deep.
2. Using (big) words and terms that make much sense to their peers but not so much to others.
On both occasions, their insights and ideas get lost by their inability to focus on the audience. Like Chris Anderson (Ted Talks) says it simply: it's not about YOUR (expert, brand, representative) language but THEIR language (audience, listener), referring to the many experts on his TED stage and the challenge to engage an audience to listen to their big idea.
Put a few experts on stage, and chances are they are happily chitchatting amongst themselves.
While for true insiders, this may be a joy, the chances are that the room during a jewelry show is filled with jewelers, diamond sellers, journalists, bloggers, consultants, representatives of trade organizations, a coral salesperson, an Indian rising jewelry designer, students, etc. They politely remain seated but doze off to their phones or look at their watches. However, they came in hoping to learn something new—a missed opportunity.
Experts on stage holding a talk aren't the only ones struggling to keep the audience's attention. Every person that climbs up those stairs and takes a seat in the spotlight runs the risk of losing their audience's interest rapidly.
We have all been there, right? Trapped in a room, having to listen to someone highjacking the space. Whether the person on stage boasts about their accomplishments, bluntly throws opinions on us that are now proposed as facts, or loses themselves with endless anecdotes irrelevant to us, the listener.
The most challenging thing about going on stage is to resist the temptation to show our knowledge by touching on other subjects rather than sticking to the one thing we were supposed to discuss.
Let's face it, your prospective audience on tradeshows is probably an eclectic mix of nationalities and various roles in the jewelry industry. And they want to connect, and they want to be entertained or informed, or both. Talks during jewelry shows are now a common and valuable practice. Something I talked about in this hot topic a few years ago.
When we see a title that excites us, we hope, as a collective audience, to gain insights, inspiration, a fresh perspective, and a new idea. We hope to feel something perhaps of a shared moment with someone on stage getting a message across that lights a bulb in all our minds—a beautiful experience.
Being authentic is a marketing term that we can hardly escape from nowadays. Other than many jewelry brands struggling with the sheer complexity of this concept, there is a fine line too for speakers between authenticity and mere self-serving promotion.
And yet, when we listen to authentic content, we need no one whispering in our ear that THIS is a genuine speaker. No. We KNOW instantly, and we can't put the finger on it, but we engage and accept the content of the talk and the messenger, aka the speaker on stage. Try listening to Ken Robinson on Ted Talks. He is an exceptionally gifted speaker, but his message is utterly authentic as it is close to his heart, and he knows his subject very well.
Links to the speaker's books, websites, social media, and contact details should be included and easily clickable links so the audience can buy their books, contact them directly or engage with them on social media. Now, this speaker or panelist is not only adequately introduced but doesn't have to spend valuable time (ours and theirs) telling us why we should take them very seriously. We, the audience, know whom we have in front of us. Perhaps even create a (paid for?) option to view all speakers online on an owned channel.
I intend to inspire and criticize with a constructive comment. If there are shows around the globe that are TED TALK perfect, they have nothing to worry about. But my experience is that I LOVE to learn, engage, and connect, and yet I see attention slipping away in the talks I attended. That is a waste of everyone's energy.