Audiences Are Selfish

You would think that your profound thoughts and words would be enough to make anyone listen. You want to tell them everything you know about the subject. You worked on your speech or presentation, put in some great language, big dollar words, that will make them understand that you are very smart. And let’s not forget your super duper, detailed, animated powerful Power Point slide show…that took you two days to create. You are sure to wow them!

A few minutes into the presentation you notice the evil texting impulse toying with the audience’s attention. You want to shout, “Blackberries, Smart Phones, put them down! Why were they ever invented?”

Oh….for when your audience is bored, and texting colleagues, looking stuff up on the Internet or playing games to keep themselves awake. You spot a couple of people quietly sneaking out, and you wonder why are these people so rude? I hate to tell you this, but it probably has more to do with “your presentation” than “them.”

Whose Presentation Is This Anyway?

Yours, of course! You created it. But who did you create it for? Was there a thought of what your self-absorbed, selfish audience might want or need to know? They are not impressed by your big, expensive words. In fact they didn’t buy into your use of high dollar language or your polished but tedious PowerPoint. They didn’t buy into your presentation because you did not invest in them.

You owe them! They have given you a half hour or an hour of their time. They are just as busy as you are. If they do not come away feeling enlightened, inspired or richer for the experience of hearing you speak, they will want their investment back – their time.

The Audience Has A Single Thought – What’s In It For Me?
You do not have to commission a survey to understand what your audience may want, but you do need to ask yourself a series of questions? Who are the people in your audience likely to be? What do they need and want to know? Are you offering them something new, a better understanding of the subject?

When you have determined what the audience wants – you can begin to put together your material in a clear, concise and interesting way. Make it audience focused.

Read Your Audience
Watch for their responses, engage them, get them to participate. React to their mood. Address your audience on their level. Use your natural gifts as a speaker. If you are enthusiastic show your passion for the subject, your audience will listen. Give them what they want and they will come to you for more.

Give The Leader’s Institute two short days of your time and we will give you a structure and the skills to become a top notch presenter.  Your audience is a key element and we can teach you how to make them sit up and listen.  Join us for Fearless Presentations at any one of our conveniently located courses across the USA.

Connie Timpson is a Sr. Instructor for The Leader’s Institute, specializing in Public Speaking, Team BuildingLeadership and on-camera Coaching.


Author: , Date Published: 10/20/09


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