Just recently I did a presentation aptly named “Powerful Presentations”. The opening for it went this way. ”Do you want to know the ABSOLUTE KEY to Powerful Presentations? It’s the belief, in your head and in your heart that it’s NOT ABOUT YOU – it’s ABOUT THEM, YOUR AUDIENCE. Believe that and you will do everything in your power to ensure you do what you need to do to meet their needs.”
Many of you have been in the situation where a sales person has tried to push something onto you that you don’t want. Usually you will reject their efforts out of hand. You recognise they are motivated by self-interest not by meeting your needs. Their focus is their commission, meeting their sales target or impressing the boss, not about addressing your requirements or concerns.
On the other hand, if they question you about the ‘why’ of your purchase, and then address what you have said, you are more likely to follow their suggestion. You have a positive response, making you receptive to their solution. You are likely to buy as long as other factors such as the price, colour etc. are acceptable.
The same is true of a speech or presentation. If it is clear to the audience you have their best interests at heart they will usually listen and be receptive to your message.
But if it becomes clear that you are following your own agenda, that has little real relevance to them, they are most likely to switch off. It is unlikely they will accept your message and you will not achieve the purpose for which you give it in the first place.
Finally, taking your ego, your wants, out the equation releases an energy in you as you focus on the wants of your audience. It comes from the positive feeling you have when you know you are helping others solve their problems or get what they desire. The energy generates enthusiasm and enthusiasm can be infectious especially when trying to persuade others to your point of view.
So as you prepare for, and present, your speeches or presentations focus on your audience.
Our mantra should always be “It’s about them, it’s not about me!”