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Reference Other Speakers

 

Techniques Public speaking > Speaking Tips > Reference Other Speakers

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Where possible, find ways to reference other speakers at a conference or gathering. Link what they say or their subjects to what you are saying, showing how they support you and how you agree with them (or perhaps where you are saying something different).

Ways to do this include:

  • Make notes as they are speaking
  • Review the agenda for their subject matter
  • Read any papers they will be presenting
  • Read their biography
  • Read, listen to or watch material they have previously published
  • Speak directly with them

Depending on the situation you can challenge other speakers, although this needs particular care, ensuring you get your facts right and that you do not just come over as vindictive or bitter.

Example

At a seminar on change where I am speaking I make notes about previous speakers and the change models and experiences they are talking about. I then link these into my talk, showing how we are all agreeing, although what we are saying may seem slightly different.

Discussion

Speakers at conferences and other places where more than one person is talking often feel some rivalry with one another. By referencing them, you are acknowledging their existence. By speaking positively about their material you are affirming that they have valuable things to say.

Referencing other speakers also puts you in the position of the audience, showing you are listening to everything, like them, and hence will gain reciprocal liking from them. It also helps them make sense of the whole conference, and in doing so will allow them to accept your points more easily.

Criticizing other speakers is more likely at scientific or philosophical conferences where ideas may be diametrically opposed and there is somewhat more of a win-lose environment. In such cases it is often better speak last.

See also

Exchange principle

 

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