Note to Self – The Audience Owes Me Nothing…& I Owe Them Everything

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 by Simon Morton

Franklin D Roosevelt knew a thing or two about engaging an audience.  To him, it was all about sharing the message and absolutely nothing to do with ego.  That made him rather good at this whole communication lark…

This is what he had to say about confidence, something very closely allied to getting up on stage and giving it your all.

Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.

Each and every step of the presentation creation process (we call it Presentation Optimisation) should ooze with the same levels of concern for the audience:

Creating the message

  • Who are they?
  • Why are they here?
  • What can I provide them?

Choosing the content

  • What information do they need to know?
  • How much do they already know?

Developing the visuals

  • What will be the most comfortable medium for them to engage with?
  • How best to manage questions?

Far too often we’re faced with presenters that focus their time and energy on sharing inane details about themselves (hint: a picture of a HQ building is a dead giveaway) and then wonder why the audience isn’t invested in the meeting.

Both sides lose.

The twist in the tale?

The unselfish presenter tends to win the hearts and minds of their audience, making them putty in their hands (ref. Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, Tom Peters).  In one of my favourite videos, Tom demonstrates his determination to squeeze every ounce of energy out of his presentation for his audience.  Inspiring stuff:

Either way, with an unselfish presenter BOTH sides win.

Happy days…

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One Response to “Note to Self – The Audience Owes Me Nothing…& I Owe Them Everything”

  1. Miguel.M says:

    Be whole in everything.
    Put all you are, in
    the least you do.

    – Fernando Pessoa
    (Portuguese poet)

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