Who is this all about anyway?
Your Presentation – It’s About Them!!
When you are the presenter, isn’t tempting to have the light shine on you? Some of us who love this work tell ourselves that it’s because we love the spotlight. Maybe that’s true.
Also, our clients, our audience and even our associates might believe we do this because we love the spotlight. That’s ok.
The real magic happens when our audience just knows that we are looking to shine the spotlight on them. We want this to be about them!
When I can make it crystal clear that I am in the room to be of service to my audience’s learning, growth, understanding and success, that’s when they truly shine. It’s here that people will be more vulnerable and maybe even take risks. They will ask questions. They will challenge. They will try to understand. They will even be willing to break free of their strongly held beliefs.
We create a “dance” where we both (me and the audience) grow and learn. That I am there to facilitate this is actually an honour that I take seriously.
How do I do it?
Well, firstly, I communicate my intention. I let the audience know why I’m there, and what our purpose is in this presentation. I get them on board, so to speak.
Also, I remain flexible to what they need in this moment. Do they need more time to digest this info? Do they need me to go faster? Do they need something explained in a new way? Do they need to talk about it with their peers?
While I’m flexible, I am also taking charge of the time and agenda. I make sure that everyone knows that we will get through what we need to get through, and that I will make that happen. I make my audiences aware that I’m owning that responsibility, and that I will need their participation in this. All the while, I am also observing. I’m keeping an eye out for people who might not be on board, who may be ‘checking out’, or sceptical. I watch to be sure that they are getting what they need.
The more clearly I can communicate, and the more consistently that I can demonstrate, that I am in this room to be sure that the audience gets what they need from this presentation, the more the spotlight is on them! And that is when people can shine.
For your next presentation, which of these ideas will you implement? How do you get the message across that you are there for the audience member to shine?