People have a tendency to compare. They compare products. They compare services. They compare people. And yes, they compare speakers. This is why at a conference, you will often hear the question “which speaker did you like most today?”. Heck, I’ve asked it quite a few times myself.

I’m not saying this question is wrong. But there is something about this question that you should know: it is misleading.

Why? Because it indicates that all speakers should be judged equally. Where they don’t.

Each speaker is different.

One speaker could be more of a storyteller, while the other is more about the facts. Or one speaker is doing a trend overview, where the other is trying to teach us specifically about a topic.

Someone in the audience is likely to be there for one or two of these reasons. Not all of them. So if you are hoping to learn details, you will find the storyteller less interesting. Or vice versa.

A lot of speakers compare themselves to others. And here the same problem appears. It is misleading because of the different intents of the speakers.

When you are speaking at a conference, do yourself a favor and don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to… yourself. Do a better job than last time. You’ll be a better speaker for it!

This post is part of our email series.

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