I wanted to see a potential client who is a speaker who was giving a presentation the other day. I have met him a couple times before. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend because I had a coaching session with a private client. However, I did send someone else to the presentation and told them to give me feedback on how it went. To my surprise, the feedback I received was utterly shocking. Let me put it this way, when you are a speaker you shouldn’t focus solely yourself. Be mindful that your presentation is about giving your audience value.
Many speakers can be self-focused when they are on stage. Most times it is not intentional. But, sometimes speakers can get so wrapped up in delivering their presentations that they forget about the needs of their audience. They focus on the job they feel is most important – the words and slides of their power point presentation. If a speaker only focuses on those things then the speaker will lose the attention of the audience because there is no connection. A good speaker has to be aware of what is going on in the room at all times.
Do not fall into the bad habit of giving a generic presentation that is not tailored to address the needs of your particular audience. Listeners always know when the speaker has not done their homework, and their response ranges from disappointment to disengaging from your presentation altogether.
You have to give yourself to your audience. Before you even begin to craft your message, you really need to keep in mind who the message is intended for. Do your research and learn as much as you can about your audience as well. The very best speakers make the audience feel great about themselves and don’t worry so much about their own ego.
It’s always a must to respect your audience by leaving your ego at home and not use their time to tell them how much you know and how great you are. Your job is to tell the audience how you can help them and how what you have to say will make difference to their professional and/or personal lives. The only thing your audience wants from you is to connect with you and your message. Connecting really is everything and the way to do so is by treating your audience with the utmost respect.
It does not matter how much of an expert you are or how intelligent you are, giving a presentation is not about you. A speaking presentation is about engaging with your audience to provide them with something useful, thought-provoking and relevant. At the end of the presentation, your audience, will be the judge of whether or not you gave a successful speech.
What ways have you seen of ego getting in the way of an amazing presentation? Please share them in the comments below! I would love to read them.