What is Public Speaking Hygiene?

Marketing guru Seth Godin posted yesterday about a concept called “marketing hygiene.”  It’s the idea that to sell a great product, you need to create an environment that is conducive to making people buy.  For example, you may have the best tomatoes in the world, but no one will buy them from you if your grocery store has roaches all over the walls. 

Godin’s post prompted me to think about the following question: “What is public speaking hygiene?”

Put another way, what is the environment that you need to create when you speak to ensure that people pay attention and buy into your ideas?

One thing in particular comes to mind.  The message needs to be presented simply. 

Let’s say that you’ve invented a wonderful new way for your listeners to double their investment. If you present the idea amid a complex jumble of incomprensibility, then your listeners will be too distracted to get your idea.  The complexity undermines the hygienic environment and makes it less likely for your message to get through and take hold.

On the other hand, what if you deliver your message as part of a simple three-part plan?  In that case, there’s no messiness to distract from the core idea.  There are no “cockroaches on the wall” to distract.  

The simplicity creates an hygienic environment that allows your message to jump out at the listener and take center stage.

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