I have always said that when hiring, it is subjective because the hiring manager is making the decision what is best for the company. Although hiring is subjective, learning your applicant or company should be objective because it’s a two-way conversation of getting to know the person and the company.
This leads me to a study back in May that although “fluent” speakers (TED talks, SHRM speakers, etc.) have a perceived advantage over “disfluent” speakers, the test results came and the people who listen to the “fluent” speakers did get an advantage…but barely.
This means although we think having a flashy presentation means we learn better, we don’t.
You’re wondering why the test results came out like it did? One theory is presentations are supposed to be inspirational, but it doesn’t mean it’s a learning experience. The person got caught up with the presentation, they forgot what the presentation is about. They remember the person, but not the details, which is the problem.
This leads to my other theory and that’s presentations have one point-of-view: the speaker. This is the speaker’s actions and thoughts. The speaker gives his/her message and have captivated the audience. The problem is in most TED talks, the speaker talks and leaves and there is no question and answer. In most presentations, there is room for Q&A, but that’s only for a short period. Personally, I prefer a panel format where you hear all sides from different perspectives and where the whole crowd can pay attention.
If I were do a presentation, I would skip the lecture and use the room and ask attendees to come up, have 5 minutes with me and have any question that I can answer. Understand that people attend sessions hoping to carry it to the workplace. Instead, like going to a church service, they get caught up with the theatrics. Also understand the presentations are only part of the package. If you want the full package from the speaker you heard, you have to use their service at a price.
In presentations, most of it is for show. However, if you want to learn from the sessions you attended, decipher the information that is given, exciting or not. That is the only way to know how effective the presentation is.