Well, now you realize what airline employees face every single day. The vast majority of us line up like cattle to board the plane, and all we are thinking about is where the flight is going to take us. We have no desire to listen to the flight attendant presenting the instructions on how to tighten your seat belt, locate exit rows, or what beverages and snacks will be served on the flight.

We have all heard that information before, but most likely we have never truly let it sink in so we know what we are supposed to do in case of emergency. In our brain we believe the chance of that happening is pretty minor.

When you give a presentation to people that feel they “know it all,” they automatically tune you out because they believe that they will hear nothing new. So your job is to rattle their brain, shake things up, and give them a reason to listen.

Here are things you can do to re-engage this person:

  1. Use key phrases to change how they listen to the information you share. Oftentimes, this is as simple as using a few select phrases in your presentation to get them to see it from a new perspective: “How many of you drove here today without really thinking about every single action you were doing while you were driving? For the vast majority of us, that is how we drive every single day. We use a different part of our brain, because our driving expertise has elevated to such a level that it has become almost routine for us. For some of you listening in the room today, you are still driving on autopilot and may have already tuned out, because you believe you already know what will be shared. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to listen and challenge yourself with, ‘What do I know but I’m not necessarily doing’ or ‘What is the 1% that is new that I need to wrap my arms around?’ I want you to listen to this today, not to listen for what you already know, but for what you can take up to the next level.”
  2. Involve the audience by assuming they know the information and then have them educate you. This works great in a one-on-one situation.
    The most important thing you want to do, if you feel the person has an area of expertise, is start with the assumption that they do have that area of expertise. Then hold them accountable for having that level of expertise.

FREE HOT TIP—Find out more about how to handle those who think they are experts when they are actually not. Click here.