Audience Respect

One of the biggest mistakes most presenters make is in not considering or respecting their audience when preparing their talks. Showing respect means not boring them to tears with a data dump of information which is meaningless to them.

 1. Respect your audience. Make sure your talk is relevant to them, not just to you. Focus your talk on what benefits the audience and you will keep their interest.

2. Do not memorize your presentation.  It will sound like and feel like you are reading it from the cue cards in your mind.

3. Never read a presentation, even if you are giving it in a language other than your mother tongue.  No matter how well you have practiced the talk, you will come off stiff and boring.  One exception might be if you are in a crisis and have decided to only deliver a single statement to the press, with no Q&A afterwards.

Showing audience respect means not loading your Power Point slides with overwhelming content that you expect them to read while you continue talking, or worse yet, reading the slide content to the audience.  Audience respect involves knowing who you are talking to and knowing what they care about.  Audience respect means showing that you care about each person in the room.  Speakers who respect their audiences:

  • Find out what the audience wants to know and address this information gap.
  • Keep the messages simple and interesting.
  • Use colorful examples and stories to illustrate their messages.
  • Present in a natural and comfortable way.
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