In the world of speaking, just as in other industries, some clichés are valuable. Others are outdated.

One such clichéd speaking admonition is:

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.”

On the surface, this makes sense. It’s been used as a blueprint for structuring speeches and written content for years. While this repetition-based approach has its merits, it also comes with drawbacks that can negatively affect your communication.

Here are four reasons why this is outdated and ineffective:

1.       Undermines Creativity And Suspense

You risk giving away your ideas too soon. This may bore your audience and prompt them to think, “I know how this will end.”

Adhere to the “tell them” formula and you may find yourself limited by a rigid structure. Having a logical framework is important, but it can potentially stifle your creativity and spontaneity.

These elements are vital in capturing an audience’s attention and creating suspense.

Presenting stories, metaphors, and ideas in unconventional ways can be more effective in connecting with an audience and maintaining their interest throughout the presentation.

2.      It’s Not About “What”, It’s About “Why”

Audiences in 2023 are more sensitive than ever about having their time wasted. If you begin your presentation with a long dissertation about what they’re going to hear, they’re going to check out. Their phones are constantly calling out to them and they’re waiting for any excuse to start scrolling.

Rather than tell them what they’re going to hear, tell them why they’re going to hear it. Let them know the specific benefits to them, and they’re more likely to give you their attention and stay focused.

3.       Overlooking the Power of Engagement

The “tell them” approach can lead to a one-sided communication style that doesn’t actively engage the audience. You’re constantly battling for audience attention, thus, engaging them is more important than ever.

Strategies that take you “off script” (asking questions, encouraging interaction, and using multimedia elements) can create a more immersive experience that goes beyond merely repeating information.

4.       Misunderstanding Learning Processes

The “tell them” advice doesn’t align with current research on how people learn and retain information. While repetition can aid memory, it isn’t the sole factor that determines how well people remember and apply knowledge.

Research indicates that active learning techniques are more successful than traditional sit-and-listen styles. Problem-solving, discussion, and application of concepts can lead to better comprehension and retention than passive listening. Relying solely on the “tell them” method may lead to missed opportunities for more effective learning experiences.

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.”

This approach has been a long-standing approach to speaking, but it’s time to retire it’s because of its limitations.

By prematurely revealing key ideas, you risk losing the audience’s interest and diminishing the impact of your message.

Instead, prioritizing engagement, creativity, context, suspense, and active learning can help develop more effective and memorable communication strategies that cater to the needs of diverse audiences.

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The Pitfalls of “Tell Them What You’re Going to Tell Them; Tell Them; Tell Them What You Told Them” ultima modifica: 2023-04-14T11:21:32-04:00 da Michael Davis