But this is not how we generally feel when we are standing in front of an audience and delivering a presentation. In this situation we're more likely to feel anxious, resigned, bored or detached.
Perhaps we need to look through a different lens.
In fact, our audiences are giving us one of the most precious gifts of all -- their time. This is thirty minutes, an hour, a half-day of their lives they can never get back.
When you think about your audience from this perspective, a number of things happen:
- It's much harder to be nervous or not fully engaged because you shift your focus away from you and to the audience. Intentional focus on your audience leaves no time or bandwidth to worry about your concerns.
- Receiving a gift generates positive emotions which in turn generates the desire to feel those emotions again. This cycle motivates you to ensure the gift givers (your audience) feel it was worthwhile to give you that gift so they'll do it again.
- It's human nature to want to thank or repay someone who gives you a gift. The way to manifest your gratitude to your audience is by providing them value, which may be in the form of information; not reading your slides; new ideas; lively dialogue; engaging stories and examples; solutions to their problems or inspiration.
Thinking of your audience as gift givers is a subtle mind shift but one that can make a substantial difference in how you approach a presentation, from preparation to delivery.
Next time you are getting ready for a presentation, set about to make your audience happy they gave you their gift.
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