Connect with your Audience

Presentation Tip: Connect with your Audience

Each month I share a recent experience I’ve had while attending business presentations. I develop this experience into a Presentation TIP to help professionals become more powerful presenters.

Presentations: Avoid using insider stories

On occasion, I hear a speaker use material in a presentation that successfully alienates the audience.

Not a recommended approach!

This month I was invited to attend an association breakfast meeting and heard a speaker tell a story that happened to someone just before the meeting. As I glanced around the room at the end of what seemed like a never ending story to the audience I observed the audience sitting in silence and awkwardly gazing around the room. Then it became obvious to me that the audience was tuning out, or should I say tuned out, as they began their own conversations and story telling with their seat partners. It became clear that almost no one knew the individual the story was about so why would they care?


In a speech or presentation when you mention some event, anecdote or story involving an individual that most of your audience will know nothing about; it becomes what I call an insider story.

Here’s what happens, the majority of your audience will feel isolated and in the dark. They quickly become detached and will determine they are not part of your so called inner circle. As they wonder whom in the audience you are having this inside conversation with; they no longer feel welcome or emotionally involved with the remainder of your presentation.

Look for opportunities to have your audience let you into their inner circle. Once they accept you they will accept what you have to say!

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In the meantime,

Great Presentations!

Richard Peterson, North America’s Presentation Coach™
Remember these three “P’s” – Prepare, Polish and Present!”


Raves: "...the Presenting with Integrity™ program was amazing, I implemented five presentation techniques almost immediately after the program...if I'd of only taken this course years ago ...I can say.... THIS STUFF ACTUALLY WORKS!!!...thanks for the powerful coaching Richard."

- O.C., Manager, Facilities Supplies, MA., Unisource Worldwide Inc.

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