It’s not about you….it is ALWAYS about the audience.
If you do not connect; if you do not involve; you do not
get your message across. Ever.
Jethro Leroy Gibbs (NCIS) would head slap me. I, however, will chance it and say I’m sorry. I’m sorry but I have to repeat a theme from a few earlier posts this year. Blame it on the meetings I endured these past few weeks. Blame it on pure dreadful delivery. Blame it on the oft-repeated phrase of “I know…but….”
I have written about effective meetings and effective teaching. I will not repeat those posts here. But if nothing else, these dreadful meetings provided inspiration for today’s post.
If you have a presentation to make, please do NOT do these things. I place them in the category of “I know…but…” Why? Because that is a clue that you should start heading for the door when you hear a speaker say this. In fact, don’t walk…run for your car.
- “I know I should use the microphone but let me know if you can’t hear me.” Come on, now. If you know anyone in the audience might have a problem hearing you, why would you not help them out and use the microphone. I carry my own wireless lapel mic with me if I think there might be a problem. Think about it. If your message is that good (and it should be if you are in front of the audience) then why wouldn’t you want everyone to hear you?
- “I know that you cannot read this PowerPoint slide from the back of the room but let me show it anyway.” Say what? You know we cannot read the slide because you have put so much on the slide that all of the words are in 10 or 12 point size. No one other than you (maybe?) can read it. Why are you, then, killing us in the audience with something we cannot read! Come on. Think! Be creative and summarize. If you are tempted to say “Oh, but I could not do that. The slide just has too much good information on it!” Remember: We CANNOT read it!
- “I know this is too much information for you to digest during this presentation but it’s just all so important.” Really? It’s so important that you will bombard us with so much we will not remember anything. Really? It reminds me of something I heard long ago: Because it was taught does not mean it was learned.” I will go a step further. Most ineffective presentations do not teach a thing. They just spray us with information.
If you have a presentation coming up, remember the audience when you rehearse the presentation. (You do rehearse? Right? )
It’s not about you….it is ALWAYS about the audience. If you do not connect; if you do not involve; then, you do not get your message across. Ever.
Enjoy your week!
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© 2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.
*I know* it was just in parentheses, *but* I appreciate that you encourage rehearsal before presentations. Too many of my peers just jump into their presentations, assuming that their expertise in the subject matter will carry them through.
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