You know the saying, “You never cross the same river twice”? That applies to speeches too.

The other day I was speaking about my walk across Turkey. Because of a timing mixup, I ended up giving the same speech to two different audiences.

To my surprise, the two speeches were completely different.

The first speech tended towards self-reflection — the audience was asking questions like, for example, “What did you learn,” “How are you different now,” etc.

The second audience was interested mostly in food, so we talked mostly about food.

Someone from the first audience would probably barely recognize the second speech, and someone from the second audience would probably barely recognize the first speech.

My particular speech is heavy on questions and answers (Q&A), so of course it changes each time. But even if your speech doesn’t include a Q&A session, it will change every time. Your audience will be a little different every time. Even if the people are the same, they will have grown and changed since the last time you saw them, or at least some of them will have.

If you find yourself thinking, “I know this speech, I’ve given it before,” be careful, because you might be getting lazy. You might be about to bore your audience.


About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.