Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 13

Ways to Lose Your Audience

It's easier than ever for a public speaker to lose his or her audience, says an executive coach.

Scott Eblin, author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success, recently listed on his blog three tactics public speakers should avoid if they want to maintain their audience's attention:

  • Expect your audience to listen for 45 minutes straight. "Please structure your presentation so you get me and the rest of the audience involved in the first two minutes and then give us something else to do about every eight to 10 minutes after that," Eblin says. "Please don't expect me to listen to fact after fact for 45 minutes or more without checking out. Show a relevant (but short) video. Give us a simple exercise to do with a neighbor that illustrates your points. Ask us to jot down a few thoughts and share them with each other."
  • Talk in a monotone. "Vary your pace," Eblin says. "Use some inflection. Raise your volume. Lower your volume. When you're practicing your presentation ... record yourself and play it back. I'll bet you'll be surprised by how flat the delivery is. Dial up the energy."
  • Take yourself too seriously. "Some of your presenters are so serious up there that you're scaring me," he says. "Let's get real; most presentations are not about life and death topics so let's not act like they are. Pretend you're having a conversation with a bunch of friends... Laugh a little. Smile. Connect with us."

This article is from the Sept. 24, 2012 issue.

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Development for Deans and Academic Leaders
Oct. 24 - 26, 2012
Chicago, Ill., United States

This conference provides deans and academic leaders the help they need to increase their knowledge of the development process and strengthen the partnership between academic and advancement officers.