A survey on public speaking was conducted by Brownlee & Associates that involved over 3,000 respondents with positions from President, Managing Director, Senior Directors, Employees in Sales, Marketing, R&D, Quality Control, I.T, Doctors, Scientists, and Lawyers. 

The objective was to identify the main causes as to why audience members disconnect and stop paying attention during presentations. 

During a series of weekly blogs, I will highlight a few of the specific areas of disconnect surveyed and offer practical coaching suggestions to help you keep your audience connected. Many of the suggestions provided will come from my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations.

The results have been divided into two sections; The design of the presentation and the delivery of the presentation. 

The higher the percentage the more the survey participants felt they would disconnect. Percentages ranged from 72%-99%.

The results of this survey make it clear that when the audience is bothered by areas in the design of the presentation that were done or not done or certain delivery behaviors of the presenter exhibited during the presentation were not executed well, the result will be a disconnection between the audience and the presenter and their presentation which will affect the quality of the communication, the degree of impact and memorability of the activity as well as the achievement of the objectives of the presenter.


Topic covered in the previous post: How to make sure your presentation isn’t long and stays on time.


DESIGN: Survey results indicated that 85% agreed that they would disconnect if… The presentation is complicated with too much detailed information.

My coaching suggestion: Know your audience by conducting an Audience Analysis Audit (AAA). In my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations we offer a simple audience analysis audit to guarantee your presentation language and delivery will be best suited to your audience.

For example, the following questions are asked in the Audience Analysis Audit (AAA): What is your audience’s level of understanding of the types of information you will be sharing? Technical, Generally Low, Nontechnical, Unknown, Generally high.

And another question: What is their knowledge of the subject? High, Moderate, Limited, None, Unknown. When possible, you will need to research information about your audience ahead of time to determine the answers to these questions in order to craft your presentation in a way that is understandable to your audience.


DESIGN: Survey results indicated 76% agreed they would disconnect if…The language used is technical or the presentation is too technical.

My coaching suggestion: Review your research on your Audience Analysis Audit (AAA) mentioned above and make sure the design of your presentation matches the knowledge and understanding of your audience.


For more information on this and other topics on effective public speaking, please contact me at: or through my website:

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