Are you providing the right communications experience?

What experience do you provide when you deliver a presentation?

Think back to the leaders and speakers who have had most impact on you. What was it they said that made a difference? Can you remember?

Possibly not…

But, what if I asked how did they make you feel? I imagine you can recall exactly how they made you feel.


When we communicate with an audience its not the words we say that will make the difference – its how we say it, and how we make the message relevant and personal to those we are speaking to.  An influential presentation is an experience that is recalled long after the speaker has sat down.


What “experiences” do you provide when you speak in public?


Self-Centred or Audience Centric Communications Experience

Let’s start with a simple two-dimensional view.  Your material can be self centred in that it covers the topic of the presentation from your perspective as the speaker. This can be an “I did this, I did that…” kind of presentation. But more frequently it’s a presentation prepared from an inconsiderate position. What do I mean?


It’s a presentation where the content or the delivery is not mindful of what the audience knows (or doesn’t know) about the subject. And, it can be potentially delivered in a manner that shows no regard to whether or not the audience members understand the messages and ideas being presented.


Compare that with a presentation that is full of content that is completely applicable to the audience and a speaker who is consciously checking with the people in the room that they understand each idea presented.


Which of the two speeches would provide a better experience?


Emotionally Engaged Communications Experience

If we add another dimension to the presentation… How emotionally engaged are the audience members? The more emotional engagement they have the more likely they are to be influenced by the content shared with them during the presentation.


Conversely, a low emotional attachment may be sufficient if you simply want to do a “data dump”, or informative presentation, for example an update in a team meeting.


Which quadrant are your presentations in?

Using the diagram below you need to consider which quadrant do your presentations, generally, fit into? If you find yourself delivering informative (self centred content, with low emotional connections) but you want to influence and inspire your audience you have a problem.  Presenters who find themselves in the Informative or Entertaining quadrants often wonder why their presentations don’t influence others to change. They share lots of information and get smiles – but no results.


Influence happens when you have a high emotional connection and an audience centric message.


Looking at this – do you think you have found out why you might not be getting the results you expected? Please, share your thoughts and comments below.

About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.