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Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Keep Your Audience Awake
22
Ten Ways to Keep Your
Audience Awake
Nothing frightens a public speaker more than the prospect of the
audience falling asleep during the speech. Here are some things you can do
to prevent that from happening. (Yawn.)
Don’t Forget Your Purpose
Too many presenters ramble on and on with no clear sense of purpose. The
temptation is to throw in every clever quotation and every interesting tidbit
you can muster that is even remotely related to the topic of your
presentation. The reason that this temptation is so strong is that you most
likely haven’t identified what you hope to accomplish with your
presentation. In other words, you haven’t pinned down your
purpose.
Don’t confuse a presentation’s title with its purpose.
Suppose that you’re asked to give a
presentation to a prospective client on the advantages of
your company’s new, improved, deluxe model
ChronSimplastic Infindibulator. Your purpose in
this presentation is not to convey information
about the new Infindibulator, but to persuade your
client to buy one of the $65 million beasties. The
title of your presentation might be Infindibulators for
the 21st Century, but the purpose is “Convince these
saps to buy one, or maybe two.”
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