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 keep from reading your slides aloud to your audience and instead make your presentation come alive.
DELIVERY: Survey results indicated 81% agreed they would disconnect if…The presenter turns his back on the audience.
My coaching suggestion: Over the years, I have seen presenters turn their back to their audience to look at or read their visuals which eliminate that all-important connection with the audience. My suggestion is to make sure you are able to see your visuals in a way that you can quickly view your visuals and still have the majority of your body facing your audience. This may take some maneuvering but will be worth the time invested.
DELIVERY: Survey results indicated 85% agreed they would disconnect if: The presenter talks too fast.
My coaching suggestion: Early on in my coaching career, I realized that trying to get a fast talker to slow down when presenting was affecting the overall effectiveness of the presentation. My client would become fixated on slowing down instead of focusing on the content and connecting with the audience. What I now suggest is to include more strategic pauses in the presentation to allow the audience to catch up with the speaker.