The title is all there is

I was invited once to speak at a Toastmasters Leadership Institute, about the Leadership Track of the organization’s educational program. I crafted a short title:

The Leader In You

designed to arouse curiosity, while a short companion abstract provided information on what the actual content was. Happy with the result, I went over to the event only to realize, that the nifty abstract had been stripped, and the only thing printed in agendas was the title.

Of course the title alone was meaningless. It was never meant to work without the abstract. It wouldn’t have attracted even myself to attend. Luckily, lots of people did show up for my session, but the lesson stuck.

For a later appearance, at Tech Open Air Berlin, I still delivered a nice abstract, but this time made sure the title was sufficient:

Weapon of Mass Attraction: Public Speaking

Predictably, during the event, the only piece of information attendees saw were the titles. But that was all I needed.

We should all be Toastmasters

We all communicate. If you’re reading this, then I am communicating a message to you and if I don’t structure, construct and present it well, you’ll stop reading after the next sentence. Or worse, you’ll read to the end and forget all about it minutes afterwards. That would mean we both wasted time – me writing, you reading.

There’s no excuse for inefficient communication.

Have you joined your local Toastmasters chapter already? I know, I know, you don’t do public speaking. It’s not your thing. Don’t worry, it’s just a form they use. What you will learn goes far beyond presenting and will forever change your life.