Dealing with difficult delegates is all in a day’s work for most presenters. That said, it’s no less stressful. Have you ever wondered what you could differently to decisively command your audience’s attention and respect? Watch the video to learn more…
Watch the video to learn more.
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Often, you will have in your audience someone who challenges everything you have to say. Here’s how to significantly reduce the occurrence of such incidents.
The motivation behind this individual’s action might be anything. Perhaps, he:
From my experience, I have come to realise that it is the first of the three, which is the most common reason for such behaviour. As I have noted in a different blog post, more often than not, our audience is there because they genuinely seek to hear what we have to say.
Sadly, however noble be this individual’s intentions, it does not make life any simpler for us presenters.
Being challenged, corrected, or proven wrong in front of an audience can be pretty embarrassing and unnerving. It could also possibly erode whatever equity that we have managed to build with our audience up till that point. That, in turn, could seriously impact how receptive the audience is to whatever else we have to say. Together, these could seriously dent our confidence levels.
We need to be able to handle ourselves effectively in such situations. And, we might also need to try and lessen, if not completely eliminate such situations from occurring in the first place.
Do you remember how in school, it was always the smaller guys who got bullied?
The bigger guys, those who looked like you couldn’t mess with them, were rarely, if ever, subjected to the same torture that the smaller built among us were.
Well, my own experience as a presenter has taught me that what is true about the school ground is also true of business presentations.
Some presenters get ribbed a lot more than others. And, while the reasons for this could be myriad, one thing that I have experienced myself and
have noticed in others is this: those who appear less confident, knowledgeable and seemingly in control of the presentation get challenged a lot more than those who appear to be more in control and confident.
As presenters, we have got to make ourselves look as ‘big’ as we can be. By that, I do not mean boorish and arrogant, but that we need to appear supremely confident about out content and about ourselves, as well as, appear to be in complete control of the proceedings.
Here are just two tips on how you can make yourself ‘bigger’.
One: mind your language; your body language
You want people to know, or at least be led into believing, that you are supremely confident and not to be messed with. Here is how you can send out such a signal.
These practices make you appear confident, in control and unintimidated by anybody in the audience. It makes you appear ‘bigger’. That, by itself, will cause a good number of potential trouble makers to think a dozen times before taking you on.
Two: ensure that your content is spot on
Now, mere presentation ability and bravado will only take you so far.
With the wealth of information available to them today, many in your audience will have a fair grasp of the subject. My experience has taught me as much. So, if you think that you can simply mouth some nonsense ‘in style’ and get away with it, then you better think again.
Well, actually you might sometimes, but by and large it pays to bear one truth in mind: your audience is no fool!
If your content is irrelevant, shallow and poorly structured, then most often your audience will see through you.
So, focus on getting your content right (LINK)
Also, anticipate and prepare your responses to questions that might come your way (LINK).
Three: get endorsed
This tip will not work if you are presenting to an audience who already knows you.
However, if you are presenting to an audience who is not very familiar with you, then having someone – a host or a colleague – lay out your credentials before your audience. Ensure that this individual actually mentions your expertise in the subject of your presentation, your experience in that area and your past successes as a professional and a speaker.
This is going to make you appear like you are a ‘big guy’; like you are one of the foremost experts in your field.
And not many people in their right mind would want to mess with such an individual.
Hey, who would want to take on a ‘big guy’?
If your audience sees you as an expert, if your content is spot on, if you are prepared to respond to queries from your audience, and you are projecting supreme confidence, then who would want to mess with you?
Project yourself to be the ‘big guy’ and you will have far fewer experiences of being challenged by your audience.