Your relationship with your audience is a major key to your presentation success.
How do you speak with confidence? One of the secrets is to know how to build an astonishing relationship with your audience.
The first two ways you will connect to your audience of 5, 50, or 500 are intellectually and emotionally. Logic makes you think; emotion makes you act.
The intellectual connection will come from your content and the logic around how you make your case. When you use charts and statistics and report on the result of surveys, you are connecting intellectually.
Making an emotional connection is easier. There are three ways to connect emotionally with your audience.
One is through stories.
Second is with “you-focused” language, what I call the “I-You Ratio or balance.” How often do you say “I” compared to “you” or “us”?
“You” is your one-word advantage.
The third connection occurs by speaking as an audience advocate. Focus your content from the audience’s point of view; look at your message through their eyes. When you work on the principle that everyone is more interested in themselves than in us, you will not go wrong.
If an executive says, “Our new strategy will increase shareholder value” to employees who are not shareholders, the executive is not speaking as an audience advocate. If they say, “Our new strategy will increase revenue, which in turn leads to more job security,” they are on track.
Here are a few remarks to remove from your presentations:
“I am going to talk about . . .”
“What I would like to talk about . . .”
“What I am going to do first is . . .”
Instead, substitute “Great news! You are about to learn ten techniques guaranteed to make your presentations memorable.”
Make a list of you-focused phrases that would work in your presentations.
Here are several that I use to begin. If they work for you, please use them.
In your experience . . .
If I were to ask you . . .
You can feel confident . . .
How often have you felt, seen, experienced . . . ?
When was the first/last time you . . . ?
It might interest/surprise/amaze you to know/learn/discover . . .
Do you remember a time when . . . ?
What advice did your dad/parents/mother/first boss give you?
Think back to when you . . . frustrated/upset/ happy/enthusiastic/disappointed?
I helped a sales executive from a major hotel with a short presentation to bring a convention to San Francisco, a $500,000 event. They had strong competition from two other cities. When the competition is tough, the best presentation wins. I recommended a you-focused opening.
“In the next 8 minutes, you will decide that the best decision you can make for your association and your members is to bring your convention to San Francisco and the Fairmont Hotel.” That is 5 you or yours and one Fairmont. That creates a strong emotional connection.
Good luck making a strong connection with your audiences.
“I gave my speech last night… it was at least TWICE as good because of the day I spent with you. I didn’t realize during the day that you were making such a great impact… but mission accomplished… and quite an accomplishment on your part because it is nearly impossible for me to sit through anything for an entire day. I have already referred a couple of my clients to you.” Sally Pera, President, PR Connect
“Oh, my goodness, Patricia! The panel went so well! I received dozens of compliments about how engaging the panelists were and about my moderating as well. The expert panelists were extremely pleased. Your expert coaching was excellent and timely, as always. Thank you, Patricia, for your brutal honesty, for always steering me in the right direction, and for always challenging me. Words do not express my gratitude!” Angela Cockerham, Attorney and Mississippi State Representative