If you want a happy audience, avoid these 7 mistakes

Happy audience clapping

If you want a happy audience it’s worth avoiding a number of key mistakes other presenters make.

Your audience want you to help them.

They want you to feel comfortable in their presence so that they may relax and feel the same.

Avoid these 7 mistakes if you want a happy audience.

1. Lack of preparation

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”  Confucius    

It’s always clear whether a presenter has done their homework.

You won’t have a happy audience if you don’t know:

–  Who they really are,

– What they care about

– What keeps them awake at night

– How much they already know

– What they really need

Whether you are updating your team, making a sales pitch or reporting to the board you have to prepare.

If you aren’t fully and properly prepared, you can expect this question from your audience.

‘So what?’

It is always quickly followed by, ‘why’:

– ‘Are you telling me this?

– ‘Does it matter?’

– ‘Should I care?’

You won’t have a happy audience if they have those questions on their minds.

2. Wasting their time

“One of the few things that can’t be recycled is wasted time.”— Sean Covey

Have you ever attended a presentation where the speaker bombarded you with information that:

–  You already knew?

–  You could easily find yourself through Google or another speedy source?

–  Was obvious to you?

–  Was old news to you?

You won’t have a happy audience if you waste their time.

3. Don’t practice

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” Dale Carnegie

If you’re visibly very uncomfortable when presenting, your audience will be too.

I don’t mean being nervous; you’re allowed to be nervous.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong feeling nervous. In fact, it shows you’re alive and that you care.

Where your audience will get uncomfortable is where you are a jabbering, stuttering wreck of a human being.

What’s the best way to get comfortable?

Well funnily enough, practice is the key.

Once you’ve prepared thoroughly, the next step is to practice just as thoroughly.

That doesn’t mean memorizing what you have to say. It means practicing your presentation to the point that you are completely comfortable with your message.

It’s hard to have a happy audience when you’re visibly unhappy yourself.

4. Your ego

“Ego is false confidence, self-respect is true confidence” Naval Ravikant

You won’t have a happy audience if you call them together to listen to how wonderful you are.

Make your presentation exclusively about your audience and leave yourself out of it.

5.  A lack of commitment

“If it was something that I really committed myself to, I don’t think there’s anything that could stop me becoming President of the United States.” Will Smith

If you’re not totally committed to the ideas and information you’re presenting, your audience won’t be either.

Trying to persuade an audience to take on board an idea you are not convinced about yourself is futile.

If you want to have a happy audience, be committed to your message

6.  Being boring

“Dead or alive, interesting people are interesting people” Noel Riley Fitch

Have you ever sat through a really boring presentation?

It happens every day in just about every organisation in the world; it’s painful.

To ensure a happy audience make sure  your presentation is stimulating, engaging and captures their interest and curiosity.

There is no such thing as a boring product or service, only boring presenters.

7. Reading your slides 

“The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.” Oscar Wilde

If you have so much information on a slide that your audience has to read it, send them an email instead.

If you want a happy audience, never present a slide which :

– They have to read.

– You have to read out loud to them.

We still see presenters stand with their back to the audience reading their own slides.

Don’t do it.

Presenting to any audience is an enormous privilege and one that shout be treated with the utmost respect.

To create a happy audience:

– Be prepared

– Respect and value their time

– Be comfortable

– Make it all about them not you

– Be committed

– Make it interesting

– Don’t read slides

If you need help in getting a happy audience:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image: Courtesy of Canva.com

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