- You seem to know, or care, nothing about me. It’s all about you. So, I text away, waiting for you to finish and go home.
Fix it: Start from why your audience should listen. What do you want them to feel, to know and do about your topic?
2. You talk too much. It takes you forever to get your thought across. It seems like it never occurred to you to try to get to the point and save us both some time.
Fix it: Make it shorter and your audience will love you for it. Deliver additional details (for the deep dive) in a different format.
3. You seem fake. Like you don’t even believe what you’re saying or you’re just too perfect.
Fix: Share a vulnerability. What is something about you that hardly anyone knows.
Blame the algorithms
4. You have way too much text on your Power Points. Do you think I can’t read? Why don’t you just send me an email with all this data dump on it, instead of wasting my time and energy?
Fix: Keep it to less than 10 words per slide. Try some zero-word slides.
5. You’re trying too hard. If your product or service is so remarkable, why can’t you relax about it?
Fix: Trying hard is admirable but too much effort can work against you. Breathe. Slow down. Pause.
6. You use silly, tacky clip art in your visual support. Give me a break! Either take the trouble to find some great visual image, or leave it out. Power Point is not the only way to visually support your message, btw.
Fix: Use some fun photos from your phone or check out unsplash.com for to-quality professional photos that are free.
Gifs are good…in moderation.
7. You talk too fast. You’re giving me a lot of data, but I don’t get what’s in it for me. I’m kinda confused. Confused people don’t usually buy.
Fix: Keep your speaking velocity but take breaks (aka a power pause). Silently count to 3. That allows your audience time to process.
8. You’re playing with coins in your pocket. That is distracting and the last thing you need is more distractions!
Fix: Hands out of your pockets. Uncross your legs.
9. You’re pushing me too hard. I love to buy, I hate to be sold. If your stuff is so great, why are you pressuring me to sign today?
Fix: Deal a dose of dopamine. Tell a joke, tell them something impressive about them. Have them stand up and stretch.
We want dopamine!
10. You’re boring. Wake me up when it’s over. Don’t let the door hit on the way out.
Fix: Ask questions to get audience input. If it’s a large audience, give them questions to discuss in small groups. Surprise them with something totally unexpected.
Algorithms have changed the way the brains of your audience operate. Attention spans are shorter, engagement is more elusive and we’re all addicted to dopamine. You can’t change the algorithms but you CAN change the way you address audiences and come out the winner.