When you walk in to a room to present, the only person fully invested in the outcome is YOU. This means that YOU need to ALWAYS adapt to the audience and not expect them to adapt to you.
Now at this point, you are probably thinking, “of course that makes complete sense” so let me share with you what speakers DO that says to the audience “ADAPT TO ME”:
1. Continuing with PowerPoint slides when they see that their audiences’ eyes are glazed over. The point of a presentation is to get action. Anything less than that is unsuccessful. So STOP when you see that you have lost them and if you need to drop the PowerPoint, do it!
2. Taking Questions and saying, “I will get to that in a moment.” Essentially your audience has just told you that you did NOT give them a CLEAR ROADMAP so they knew what you were talking about and why. Hence they will then choose to interject their questions when it seems relevant to THEM. By saying “I will get to that in a moment” you are telling them “stop interrupting me and wait until I am ready to talk about that.” Start truly listening to your audience as they hold the power to make or break your presentation.
Remember that the point of a presentation is not to SHARE the information, it is to get your audience to ACT on what you say. Anything less than that you have to treat as a failure and then learn from it. Only then will you improve as a powerful speaker that connects with your audience at all levels.
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