You walk up to the dais, you know why you’re there; you’re there to give a presentation. You’ve edited, pared down and you’ve prepared and prepared and prepared. You know what you’re going to say and you say it…
And yet, everyone still looks bored.
How can this be?
Do you lack charisma?
Is there something about you that’s just dull?
No, you’ve made one of the most common mistakes in presentation; you forgot to think about the audience.
Why are the audience there? Here are a few of the common reasons.
· They’ve been told to be there.
· They’ve come to hear bad news.
· It’s all part of a new initiative; that they don’t like.
· They NEED to be there but would rather not be.
· They’re marking time before the keynote speaker that they WANT to see.
· They feel obliged because you’re a client.
· They feel obliged because they couldn’t tell you face to face that they don’t want your product and they’re stringing you along before telling you that the budget (that wasn’t there in the first place) has been cut.
· They want the CPD points.
· They want to be proved right and given the ammunition to go back to their workplaces and tell management that they were right all along
· It was free and it gave them a legitimate day off.
· They want to learn something.
The list could go on.
Without thinking about the reasons that your audience is there, your presentation will always be just about good enough, but never great.
When you’re putting your presentation together thing about the majority of the audience, put them in to context, and try to take your ego out of the equation.
It’s very difficult to be honest with yourself when (chances are), they’re not there to see you speak… or at least, that’s not the whole reason they’re there.