So you imagine that everyone who is in your audience is sitting on the edge of their seats just waiting for you to proclaim? Forget it and get real! This is what some people are thinking as you get ready to start your presentation/networker introduction:
« Oh flip, I’ve left the front door unlocked
« I haven’t prepared my introduction pitch, what will I say?
« ( rehearses own presentation…)
« Hmm, nice tie/necklace/shirt but I wouldn’t have chosen those cufflinks/earrings/scarf etc…
« Mulls over the last meeting
« Plans the next meeting
« Checks facebook/twitter/email
« Fumes over the row they had with their wife/husband/partner/mum/child/guinea-pig
There is no point remonstrating about this – it happens, so get real and do something practical about it. Until and unless you make an impact when you first start to speak NO-ONE will listen! Here are my three reasons why I won’t listen to you in your presentation:
You won’t look at me. At best you might skim my face but at worse you will either look at the ceiling, the floor or that lovely smiley person in the front row ( who by the way will soon stop smiling because they get embarrassed at being looked at!)
« Include me as you look at the whole audience and look at me personally throughout your presentation – not a hard Paddington stare but just long enough for me to feel special, valued and that you are delivering this for me
You have not thought about my needs and my world and rabbit on about you, you , you….This opportunity to speak to a group is not about telling us what you think/do/plan etc- it is sharing with this particular audience from their perspective. Otherwise it will not be relevant and certainly not engaging enough to listen to.
« Recognise and refer to and link your experience/expertise/service or product to my world ( with all its dreams, aspirations, frustrations and problems). That way I will listen and when I listen I am open to influence.( now just imagine that!)
You put me in a trance with Powerpoint, and not in a good way. Ah, bliss. I can snuggle down, close my eyes and dream away as you turn your back, drone your way through 10 bullet pointed lists, read what is written ( which by the way is very insulting – I can read you know!) and generally lose all your personality, zest and passion to that screen.
« Only use Powerpoint if it enhances/clarifies/reinforces or explains what you are saying. That’s it. If you need to remember what to say take in some notes but please please please don’t put your notes on the screen for everyone else to see them! The very best visual aids to use in ANY presentation are exactly that – visual. So pictures and photos first, graphs and charts second and visually presented words ( not sentences or heaven forbid paragraphs!) next.
So if you want me to listen
« Target your presentation
« Look at me and include ME in your presentation
« Talk to me and only use the technology if it is helpful to me!
Tell me about why you won’t listen to presentations and what you do to keep people’s attention.
If you would like to increase your impact and influence through public speaking, then check out Phenomenal Woman Experience, a three day intensive workshop taking your presentation skills to the next level and building them into your business plan. Next workshop is on 2,3,4 March 2012, Manchester Airport. And again on 18.19,20 May 2012