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The Three Things Your Audience Really Wants


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I work with executives and professionals across the country on communication and presentation skills. Most of them have a preconceived notion that puts them off course before they even get to the front of the room: They think they have to strive for perfection. Good luck with that. It’s worthwhile to try to improve. We all want to get better, but striving for perfection is a wast of time for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s not a realistic goal.
  • It’s not what your audience wants anyway.

Audiences don’t want a perfect presentation. They want a presenter they can relate with, a presenter who connects with them, a presenter they feel understands them.

If someone did deliver a perfect presentation it would likely just freak out the audience. Who can relate to someone who never makes a mistake, who never stumbles over a word? Not me. Not anyone I know either.

Audiences want three things, and you won’t find perfection in the list:

  1. Insights
  2. Energy
  3. Engagement

Insights:

Audiences want to learn something from you that they don’t already know: how to prepare a presentation, cook a classic French meal like coq au vin, optimize their websites for search engines, understand the previous quarter’s financial reports, learn your business plan, etc.

That’s your content. It’s the what of your presentation. Good, even great, content is crucial but it’s not enough to guarantee a great presentation. You need more. You need energy.

Energy:

There is no bigger mistake a presenter can make than not bringing enough energy to the front of the room. A lot of people confuse the rush of adrenaline they get before a presentation with energy. Sure, fear might produce that originally, but you always have the option to put it to use as something else, as fuel.

As a presenter, if you bring authentic energy – not the phony kind that some politicians or second-rate salespeople use, but real, from-the-heart energy – your audience will respond by giving the energy back to you. But you have to give it first. If you give your audience genuine energy, your audience will respond in kind. The audience takes its cue from you.

Get my Free Report, Stage Fright: Simple Strategies to Overcome It and Perform Better Under Pressure

Energy is the how of your presentation, how you convey your content. Do it well and it opens the door to the third thing your audience really wants: engagement.

Engagement:

Your audience wants to feel like a part of your presentation. Audience members want to feel like you get them, you understand them, you speak to them, their needs, their situation, their wants.

You can do this in many ways: the content itself, the Q&A session, exercises, including audience members in demonstrations, telling stories they relate to, giving examples, using statistics. These all create engagement, and engagement is what turns your presentation into a conversation. It makes it personal and powerful.

Engagement is the why of your presentation. It’s why your audience cares.

Insight is the what. Energy is the how. Engagement is the why. If you can put significant what, how, and why into your presentation I promise you that your audience will find your presentation insightful, impactful, and memorable.

That’s far more powerful than chasing perfect.

 

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Gerry Sandusky – View the original post .

 

About the author

gerrysandusky

Guest Blog by

Gerry Sandusky, is the New York Times best-selling author of Forgotten Sundays, the play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, the sports director for Baltimore's WBAL TV, and a noted authority on communication, motivation, perception, and change.

Gerry has won Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding broadcasts.

The son of former NFL coach, John Sandusky, Gerry has found his own niche in coaching as president of The Sandusky Group, a communications-consulting firm.
The Sandusky Group helps professionals who are experts in their field look, feel, and perform better in front of every audience, and influence that audience. The Sandusky Group shows experts how to shine.

Gerry and his wife founded the Joe Sandusky Fund, to honor Gerry's late brother. The fund grants college scholarships to students who demonstrate passion, talent, initiative, and a drive to fulfil their dreams.

http://sanduskygroup.com/ Read other posts by


Published On: 26th Apr 2016

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