What Does Your Audience Want to Hear?

Every conversation we have is with ourselves. And on occasion it involves someone else.

Every time I repeat this quote, I get a good chuckle out of my audience. It’s the nervous kind, that says, uh, you are probably talking about me.

I remember teaching a class of MBA students at the OSU Fisher College of Business on how to develop their signature stories as they enter the workforce, one of them got up and started giving her talk.

But it was really a conversation she was having with herself. It just happened to be in front of her 60 peers and me.

This month’s tip is one we take for granted: Convert the conversation to a presentation.

I see this all the time in my public speaking and presentation training, and not just with students. An executive will forget that they have a specific message to deliver and they just start rambling. And what they are really rambling off is that conversation they’ve been having – most likely with themselves. You know this pain.

So, are your presentations for your audience or yourself? Are they thoughtfully planned stories with which your audience can relate or… did they just get crafted from a dream, a book, a meeting or even disaster that happened to you recently?

Make sure when you draft your talk or presentation, it starts not with “what do I want to share today,” but rather, “what will my audience care to hear?”

And that’s when you become a convert. Your audience will be one too – a fan of your talk and your message.

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