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Watching Mr Cowell et al tonight, I was reminded of the similarities between what the contestants are doing and the task facing presenters in business. It’s a case of connecting with your audience and transferring something from you to them. One of the X-Factor hopefuls was being coached by a professional who described the performance as ‘self-indulgent’. “You never made eye contact with the audience. You sang for you, not them,” he observed.
This reminded me of so many presentations. They’re inwardly focused. They’re about ME and what I want to say. They’re not about YOU the audience. It’s no wonder so many people zone out during a business presentation. What’s THEIR stake in the subject? What’s in it for them? Why should they care?
Get more focused on your audience. Give them something that’s relevant, something they’ll identify with and benefit from. Strive to connect with them. Start by asking yourself what you want them to think, feel and do as a result of you standing there. Remember that you’re there for them, not you!