One of the most commented-on items in our Tips & Tricks email series is this Kevin Spacey speech:

The comments are often to the effect that the readers loved the speech, for various reasons, and they watched the whole thing (it’s about 47 minutes!).

The thing is that, visually, the speech is one of the most boring speeches I’ve ever seen — boring suit, boring background color, speaker standing behind a podium. Even Kevin Spacey’s face is, in my opinion, boring. I love Kevin Spacey, the guy is one of my favorite actors, but he has made an entire career out of playing characters that are boring on the surface (but quite interesting inside).

So why do our T&T readers so often say, “I loved that speech, I watched the whole thing?”

I think it’s because Kevin Spacey has something to say.

That’s the key to a good presentation. The key is not knowing how to do everything “right.” It’s having something to say.

In my opinion, that’s the single most important presentation skill: the ability to dig deep and find something in yourself that needs saying. If you don’t do that, no amount of training is going to make your speech interesting. And if you do do that, almost nothing else matters.

About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life managing inventory levels for wholesale import companies and forecasting labor costs for national retail chains. Since 2006, he has been teaching professionals how to present themselves and their companies better. His clients work for companies like Citibank, Allianz, 3M, P&G, and Deloitte. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.