I really enjoy your blog! Actually, I am fairly new to it. I only discovered it last Wednesday after I came from a seminar on starting a business. The seminar was interesting, in the beginning. What was supposed to be a three hour seminar—from 6 to 9pm—turned into four hours. Clearly the lady doing the seminar did not manage her time effectively. People started walking out. I thought about leaving too, but I was curious to find out when it would actually end. She eventually ended it a couple minutes after 10pm. She told us that she was not able to go over all of the material. Initially, I was relieved because it was over. I then became really irritated because everyone attending the seminar had to pay a fee and we were short changed. Before we left, she encouraged us to register for the next seminar which explains how to write a business plan. As if! I think I will pass on that.
Ja’Nee brought up a very good and rarely spoken about point – audience appreciation. Too many presenters believe the presentation is about themselves, their product, their service, their company, their movement. They fail to put themselves in the shoes of their audience members. That leads to what Ja’Nee explains – going over time, not covering everything as promised, and in this case asking the audience to attend AGAIN, all resulting in the audience having to pay more and sacrifice more time just to get what they originally paid for. It’s not fair.
When you create a presentation, you must always make sure you put yourself in the audience’s shoes. This may take some time and research to figure out what the audience’s wants, needs, motivations, problems, and desires are. Why exactly would they pay or at least sacrifice their time to listen to you? What are you promising and does it fit what the audience is expecting? Are you really delivering?
Also make sure you perfect the logistics, especially timing. Practice is the only way to ensure that you can deliver the presentation in the time allotted, and don’t forget to add some wiggle room just in case something comes up (a good discussion, a late start, etc). Make sure you get there early to get your equipment set up and tested while still having time to meet and greet the audience (if possible).
Serving yourself will only result in angry audience members, not more sales. Go that extra mile and it will come back around in a positive way.
Author’s note: I started writing this post on July 3rd and when trying to wake the screen up from sleep, I accidentally hit the “Publish” button. My apologies if that errant post showed up in your reader or was emailed to you.