Some of you will be quite surprised to learn that many of these all-too-common openers really don’t help you to connect with your audience during presentations:
Looking at some of the faux-pas openers discussed in the video in an objective way, it’s not hard to see Kwan’s point.
We’ve all been there at one time or the other, as the audience or presenter:
They/You have a cold. The audience is thinking: “Well duh, I wouldn’t have guessed you have a cold. What with the scratchy sound your voice is making.”
Their/Your dog died. People who hate dogs are going to think you’re a whiner. Those who love dogs are going to look upon you with pity all the time you’re talking; perhaps feeling such as sense of despondence they don’t hear a single thing you’re saying.
Kwan’s basically saying not to set a negative tone that will stay with your audience throughout the rest of your presentation or speech.
This is something that each and every one of us knows already, but the little things like “I have a cold” or personal matters like “My dog died” are things that many inexperienced speakers tend to blurt out.
I believe the guilty party usually does this for a few different reasons:
- Because you’d rather be somewhere else.
- As an attempt to create a personal connection with the audience.
I’d say number 3 is probably the most common and perhaps endearing reason for blurting out things that set a poor tone with your audience. However, they’re all no-no’s.
Pay particular heed to Carl Kwan’s advice when speaking to strangers.
While your employees or established members of a professional/social group you attend regularly might look past these negatives, investors and professional audiences who’re meeting you for the first time will be indelibly effected by these seemingly innocent slips-of-the-tongue.
This advice goes double if you’re getting paid to teach something, or trying to sell a product or idea to a large group!