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The 3 basic audience expectations

The aim in speaking to an audience is always to obtain support and even to create zealous ambassadors for your idea. In this context, it is always appropriate to ask yourself what the audience expects from your presentation. But it is also valuable to know that the answer to this question is consistently divided into three basic expectations.

1 – To be informed

Indeed, your first duty is to properly convey your message. In fact, it is usually on this point that your development work focuses on. It is your responsibility as a speaker to create the conditions that will allow your audience to hear, understand and remember the fundamental points of your idea.

2 – To be captivated

It is customary to say that presentations are generally perceived as boring. Yet, we must recognize that the audience likes nothing better than to get enthused about someone who knows how to capture and hold their attention. Speakers who focus on captivating their audience are few. Those that do it prepare, at a minimum, their transitions to bring coherence to their speech, others know how to find words to make people laugh or to move them and they build their presentations as true stories.

3 – To be inspired

The main audience expectation is the one that is most often overlooked: being inspired. It’s a mistake to think that it is not our responsibility to do so, either because it is not the time or because it doesn’t feel quite legitimate. But no matter the task or our hierarchical level, we all need to give meaning to our actions. It is up to the speaker to share with the audience the ‘raison d’être’ for speaking and the underlying meaning of his/her presence. Those who do this are few and they are also the ones who leave the deepest impact on our minds.

A presentation should systematically articulate its arguments within these three dimensions. Fulfilling these three expectations contributes to showing influential leadership and leaving a strong record of each of your speaking engagements.

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