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Guila Muir

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Focus on the Uncommitted in Your Audience


Presenters, do you fear waves of animosity coming from your audience? Or have you ever believed your audience to be friendly and accepting, only to receive a terrible shock?

One of the best “Presenter Tricks” I know is to present as if everyone in your audience is “uncommitted”. Doing so allows you to effectively deal with crosscurrents, hostility, and support–all at the same time.

This chart identifies the needs of all the segments in your audience. By focusing on the uncommitted, you benefit everyone!

Audience Segment What Do They Want from the Experience? Dangers of Focusing Only on This Segment? How This Segment Benefits When You Focus on the Uncommitted
“Friendlies” Satisfaction, affinity. Perhaps a pep-talk. Too easy – you may assume too much. Their knowledge and commitment is deepened.
“Hostiles” To see you fail. To hear you say something wrong. Increases your own nervousness and defensiveness. You may come off abrasively and unlikable. They experience human respect, openness and reason from you (and are likely to mirror the behavior.)
“Indifferents” To be left alone and unchanged. To the exclusion of the rest of the audience, you may tie yourself up into knots trying get a response. They may get the message, while not being hammered by you.
“Uncommitteds” To experience a reasoned, well-thought-out, good-natured exposure to the issues. NONE! They get the best of YOU: affinity and reason.You won’t cut corners by assuming support where it might not exist. You construct and present your message thoroughly, persuasively and with confidence.

By focusing on the Uncommitted, you take great strides towards more resiliency and effectiveness as a presenter. Try doing this the next time you present.


 

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