+ All Categories
Home > Documents > Signals - Ethos3

Signals - Ethos3

Date post: 23-Dec-2021
Category:
Upload: others
View: 13 times
Download: 0 times
Share this document with a friend
of 52 /52
Signals: Gabrielle Reed HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE YOUR TOP PRIORITY
Transcript
Page 1: Signals - Ethos3

Signals:

Gabrielle Reed

HOW TO MAKE YOUR AUDIENCEYOUR TOP PRIORITY

Page 2: Signals - Ethos3

n elementary school classrooms and high school auditoriums. In stadiums and fields. In administrative buildings and offices. Pre-sentations are given every day across the country and around the

world. 30 million to be exact. Behind every presentation is a present-er who either excels at audience preparation or fails. Yes. I said fails. A recent survey of 453 people who have sat through PowerPoint presentations revealed something we all subconsciously know, but rarely care to admit. Audience members far too often feel that pre-senters neglect to prepare for their performances. Instead, they read from the screens, eyes diverted from the factor that matters most - their listeners. Nearly three-fourths of survey participants were fa-miliar with the situation. Skimming over an audience need may seem like a minor issue - a ripple in the ocean of presentation problems. But one unmet need turns into a disengaged crowd and spirals into a host of angry letters, emails, and social media comments. Avoid the tsunami of negativity. Reframe your perception of your audience.

I

Page 3: Signals - Ethos3

Thin

k of

you

rau

denc

e as

“A

com

mun

ity o

fre

mem

bran

ce.”

Page 4: Signals - Ethos3

Audience is a metaphor for thepolitical community whose nature isto be a communty of remembrance.- Sheldon Wolin

Page 5: Signals - Ethos3

The people in attendance for any speech or presentation are more than listeners, according to political writer, Sheldon Wolin. They are gatherers. They are processors. They are interpreters. They are tran-scribers. They are the conduit for your message. Or your “community of remembrance.” And they should be treated as such.

Humans listen at only 25% of their capacity, despite spending al-most 50% of their day engaged in the activity. If you aren’t providing relevant information and nurturing base needs of your presentation attendees, you’ll have a hard time mastering the most important ele-ment of what I like to call, total audience awareness.

25%

50%

CONNECTION

TOTAL AUDIENCE AWARENESS

PROTECTION

IDENTIFICATION

1.

2.

3.

Page 6: Signals - Ethos3

Dis

tingu

ishi

ngth

e D

isco

nnec

t

Page 7: Signals - Ethos3

[Flips lights off]

TOM: “I have two questions for you. 1. Are you ready for the investment opportunity of a lifetime? And 2. Do any of you have pacemak-ers or a history of epilepsy?.”

JERRY: “Yes. Both.”

TOM: “Anybody? No. Alright.”

As a native Hoosier, I’ve always had an affinity for the show, Parks and Recre-ation. Each character - from ambitious department head Leslie Knope to wan-na-be entrepreneur Tom Haverford - had their own quirks, and even their own presentation styles. Tom undoubetedly had the crudest presentation skills. Why? Consider this scene from one episode. Tom is frantically searching for investors to pitch in money so that he can become part-owner of a local club. Here’s an interaction between Tom and a member of his audience, Jerry, prior to the pitch.

Page 8: Signals - Ethos3

You’ve got presenters projecting thier focus in the wrong places. You’ve got audiences losing interest in the topic and patience in the speaker. You’ve got companies and organizations missing obvious opportunities. That all stops today. Because today, you’ll learn how to read audience signals - from their body language to their facial expressions. Sometimes, we have to take 2 steps backward to move 3 steps forward. To truly begin placing your audience at the top of your presentation prior-ities, you must zoom out on your situation. What has worked well for me is to think of your audience’s responses to your message in 3 categories - red, yellow, and green like a stoplight. In this eBook, we will spend some time unpacking the 3 groups of signals. Let’s get started!

For any readers who have not been introduced to the comedic master-piece that is Parks and Recreation, Jerry is the scapegoat of the Pawnee Parks Department office. So, naturally, his peers ignore his concerns and opinions. While this complete and utter rejection of an audience mem-ber’s needs is acceptable - and even downright hilarious - within the con-fines of a television screen, the scenario plays out regularly in real-life presentations.

First, Ishould prefacethe conversation with this.

Page 9: Signals - Ethos3

Table of Contents

01

0302RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT

YELLOW LIGHT

CHAPTER 1:ANGER

CHAPTER 7:ATTENTIVENESS

CHAPTER 4:CYNICISM

CHAPTER 2:BOREDOM

CHAPTER 8:RELAXATION

CHAPTER 5:CONFUSION

CHAPTER 3:DISTRACTION

CHAPTER 9:INTERACTION

CHAPTER 6:FIXATION

Page 10: Signals - Ethos3

RED LIGHT

GREEN LIGHT

YELLOW LIGHT

PART ONE:

PART TWO:

PART THREE:

CHAPTER 1: ANGER

CHAPTER 4: CYNICISM

CHAPTER 7: ATTENTIVENESS

CHAPTER 2: BOREDOM

CHAPTER 5: CONFUSION

CHAPTER 8: RELAXATION

CHAPTER 3: DISTRACTION

CHAPTER 6: FIXATION

CHAPTER 9: INTERACTION

12

23

38

16

29

42

19

33

46

Page 11: Signals - Ethos3

PART

ONE

R

E D

L

IG

H

T

Signs you need to hitthe brakes and re-evaluate the destination

1

Page 12: Signals - Ethos3

1Chapter

It was a frigid winter evening. But inside the county courthouse, people were ablaze with emotion. A large telecommunications company prepared to make an appeal to the county commissioners of my tiny, Indiana hometown. The company wanted to install a few telephone poles in a rural part of town. More cows live in the area than people. And every person in the area came to the meeting to share their opinions on the poles. As the representative of the tele-communications phone company approached the podium facing the line of county commissioners, simultaneous grumbles echoed across the room. The matter-of-fact tone of the representative only amplified the dissatisfied mur-murs. Pen and paper in hand, I surveyed the audience - jotting down any sig-nificant detail of the audience members, their reactions, and their comments. Anything that would help me recreate the scene when I went back to my laptop to write the news story for publication the next day.

According to a University of Tel Aviv study, recognition of feelings and emo-tions increases by 10% when it involves comprehensive analysis of face, body, and speech. I hope I’m not going out on a limb when I state the assumption that presenters want to avoid evoking negative feelings in their presentation audiences. You know, feelings like the type that typically follow getting cut off in traffic, finding out your dog ate a sizeable chunk out of your favorite pair of shoes, or listening to a stranger’s plans to place telephone poles near your home. So, for this chapter and the rest, we will detail one signal per function. When you are standing on stage, assess audience members’ facial expressions, body language, and speech for signs of anger.

ANGER

Page 13: Signals - Ethos3

Unfortunately, no one will ferociously rip off their neatly-pressed button-downs like the Hulk when something you say doesn’t strike their fancy. I wouldn’t put money on anyone spinning haphazard paths around the conference room like the Tasmanian Devil either. But, there are a few telltale signs that your content is infuriating listeners.

HOW TO DECODE AN ANGRYAUDIENCE MEMBER

For every minute you remain angry, you give up 60 seconds of peace of mind.

“ “

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

As you glance out into the crowd, scan the room to determine the frown-to-smile ratio. A frowning audience member could be pon-dering issues unrelated to your presentation, however, a powerful message is capable of elevating the moods of individuals.

Are there also several pairs of pursed lips in the space? Tightness in the mouth is an indication that your message is not only lacking relevance for your audience, but it also is irritating to hear it. Both outcomes are disastrous for the efficacy of your presentation.

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 14: Signals - Ethos3

It may not be suitable for your audience to say “we” and “us,” but you - as the presenter - definitely should. It showcases that you are thinking about the crowd and not yourself. We’ll touch on the technique more later.

PRESENTATION TIP

A presenter, as surveyor of the lectern, would be best served by noting 2 aspects of his or her attendees’ bodies. First, locate the crossed arms or clenched fists in view. Second, take a mental sam-ple of 2 or 3 individuals displaying these negative motions and further assess their breathing - looking at their chests for a brief moment. Anger is marked by quick and shallow air inhalation.

Think back to the last time you found yourself at odds with another person or group. For example, I am the oldest sibling of 3. And as such, I am a bit headstrong and competitive in classic - and casual - conversation. I have crystal clear memories of battling my mid-dle brother over insignificant matters like who would get to ride shotgun on the way to church and who got to eat the last package of Gushers. We had some real knock-down, drag-outs back in the day. And even now, we frustrate each other to the max. We begin our discussions with fervent arguments in support of those who adopt our perspectives. And we end with short, muffled quips and comebacks.

How does this relate to your presentation? Monitor your audience’s use of words like “no,” “wrong,” “we,” and “us” during session Q&As and discussion activities. Pay attention to the inflection when they use combative words to distinguish between full-fledged anger and a simple disagreement. Is the vocal emphasis on the words described above? That may spell trouble.

SPEECH AND NOISE

BODY LANGUAGE

Page 15: Signals - Ethos3

If you regularly get these negative cues, a tweak in behavior and modification of approach on your part could spur a shift in the mindset of angry audiences.

When asked for their input, an individual will not only become more invested in the discussion, but he or she will also feel that their needs and concerns are being heard - cultivating a secure and comfortable environment.

In psychology, there is a theory called the frustration-regression hypothesis. Within a presentation, the frustration-regression hypothesis plays out when the content you bestow upon individuals fails to meet their expectations. Instead of rewording content from the About section of your website, relay information that the audience can’t find through a cursory Google search. Send attendees to a special template or how-to guide. Give them a temporary access code for a product demo. You’ll be more memorable. Your audiences will be more moti-vated. And loyalty to your brand or company will increase dramatically.

CHANGING THE CUES

1

2

ASK THIS QUESTION

PROVIDE EXCLUSIVE MATERIAL

How do you interpret this issue?

Page 16: Signals - Ethos3

BOREDOM

Chapter2

You are in the minivan, headed to Disney World on a family vacation. The 14-hour drive will be a true test of strength for you and your spouse, as you have 2 toddlers and a teenager packed into the back seat. Right now they are watch-ing Beauty and the Beast on their iPad. But you know the movie will last only a fraction of the time the drive will take. Conquering boredom requires intent and innovation in a society that York University psychologist John Eastwood says has become “passive recipients of stimulation.” Here are signs you can use to detect boredom in your presentation audience:

HOW TO DECODE A BOREDAUDIENCE MEMBER

The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.- Arthur Schopenhauer

“ “

Page 17: Signals - Ethos3

Throughout my lifetime, I have certainly sat through some pre-sentations that plain and simple bored me to death. Whether it was the classmate who read off her PowerPoint word-for-word or the professors who crammed each slide full of bullet points, many decks have pushed me to the brink of snoozing. In a study titled Detecting Boredom in Meetings, researcher Stefan Kroes ana-lyzed several signatures of the bored individual. Among the facial indicators were profuse blinking and erratic viewing of surround-ings.

Evaluate the posture of your presentation audience. Are a majority of members slumped over in their seats like rag dolls? Not a pos-itive sign. Do you see many heads resting on hands? And many hands touching faces? A sure sign of boredom, dissatisfaction, and angst.

You likely know the feeling of boredom. You can probably recall moments where you caught yourself yawning in the middle of a dull speaker’s tirade - an obvious and unattractive symptom of boredom. What’s worse for a presenter, however, is the silence that results from audience members who lack interest in a mes-sage. Presenters should crave an interruption. Why? Because that means people are invested in what you are saying.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 18: Signals - Ethos3

Your audiences look forward to hearing you speak because they expect to learn new information or techniques. A gap of knowledge exists and you are there to fill it. Your goal is to limit the space between people’s limited knowledge of your topic and your expert knowledge. If the audience already believes in your philosophy, there isn’t a gap to close. Your message becomes of little value to this particular audience. However, if the concept is foreign to your audience, the gap is large and the opportunity is great for you as the presenter.

A worksheet or one-pager could accompany activities - keeping audiences en-gaged and reinforcing previously-discussed concepts.

CHANGING THE CUESA bit of mystery and an acceptance of flexibility equips presenters with the tools needed to effectively engage an audience predisposed to passive stimulation.

1

2

MAKE SURE THERE IS A GAP

INJECT DIFFERENT VARIABLES

Page 19: Signals - Ethos3

3

DISTRACTION

Chapter

My cousin is one year older than me. Growing up, we were inseparable. When she would come over, we would construct elaborate Barbie houses - commu-nities, really - and tell each other stories before falling asleep. In church, when the pastor’s message wasn’t quite speaking to us, we’d pick a word or phrase. It was usually something like Merry Christmas or Happy Halloween. Then, we would compete to see who could create the most words with the letters in the selected phrase. Clearly, we were master distractors. As a presenter, you would not want us in your audience. Let’s learn the signs of distraction and methods for recapturing audience attention.

HOW TO DECODE A DISTRACTEDAUDIENCE MEMBER

You can always find a distraction if you’re looking for one.

- Tom Kite

Page 20: Signals - Ethos3

An individual wears their distraction on their sleeve - and their face. From licking or biting his or her lips to moving his or her head back and forth, a distracted person cannot keep still.

Constant movement transfers from the face to the body, as a dis-tracted audience member plays with his or her hair or messes with the clothes he or she is wearing. If your event is taking place in a room that has desks, distraction can be spotted by the sound of fingers tapping incessantly on the hardened surfaces.

The most noticeable sign of distraction, however, is chit chat. If you can’t seem to hold the attention of your audience, you’ll need to recalibrate your course of action.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 21: Signals - Ethos3

Studies show it’s the most effective speed for listeners. Go through an agenda slide quickly, then slow down the narrative with your speech through storytell-ing. On average, maintain a speaking pace of 120-140 words per minute. It’s the most effective speed for listeners. But, experiment with speaking slower or faster to emphasize important points.

Perhaps your usual way of conveying your message is not suitable for the content. If you are forced to drag out the explanation of particular points to fill a time slot, you may want to try formatting the entire message for video or audio. Research shows that video increases the likelihood of a person buying what you are selling by 85%. So, the lesson here is to always be brainstorm-ing avenues for visual and auditory usage. Display a video online through your website or social media accounts. Or, at the very least, leverage video or audio in your presentation by incorporating it into your opening or closing.

CHANGING THE CUESTo eliminate distraction, you have to give your audience a reason to be excited. While hauling a basket of puppies on stage or shouting “fire” in a crowded au-ditorium may do the job, entertaining audiences requires much less effort and criminal activity.

1

2

SWITCH UP THE PACE

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE METHODS OFDISTRIBUTING CONTENT

Page 22: Signals - Ethos3

PART

TW

OSigns you shouldproceed with cautionto avoid collision

YE

L L

OW

L

IGH

T

2

Page 23: Signals - Ethos3

CYNICISM

Chapter

Cynicism takes me back to my college days. I like to believe I am a fairly trust-ing person. But put me in a group of 4 people and assign a project to us, and the cynic in me emerges from its hiding place deep inside of my soul. Yes. I was the girl who pulled most of the weight on the statistics project; not because I am just that awesome, but primarily because I was not in the least bit optimis-tic that my partners would complete their tasks. The joke is on me though. Sci-ence has shown that cynicism only creates suspicion and limits cooperation - terrible circumstances for both a group project and presentation.

HOW TO DECODE A CYNICAUDIENCE MEMBER

Cynicism was a one-way path, and once taken, the way back was lost forever.

- Chris Wooding, Poison

4

Page 24: Signals - Ethos3

To diagnose the cynics, look no further than the eyebrows. After making a bold statement or shocking claim, pause to evaluate on-lookers. If you see any raised eyebrows, you may be dealing with doubters. If you evaded that particular signal, check the position of audience member’s heads. Those that are titled with eyes directed towards the ceiling may harbor distrust for you.

In more intimate settings, such as a conference room, an individ-ual who pulls away from the presenter following delivery of a con-tentious point is likely expressing their cynicism. Another indica-tor? Folded arms.

A cynic will stick out like a sore thumb. He or she will be emanat-ing negativity - each word loaded with sarcasm and double-mean-ing. In addition, the cynic person will ask more questions than others in the group. And the tone the questions are asked in will likely be accusatory.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 25: Signals - Ethos3

You can accomplish this in 1 of 3 ways. First, answer your own question. One of the best ways to implement the rule of reciprocity in your presentation is through a discussion section or Q&A session. To incite the conversation, relay a response to your question first. If you are asking for your audience to give a response, give one to them initially. Your audience will not only feel obligated to provide input after hearing yours, but they will also be more comfortable doing so after you set the direction with your answer. Second, demonstrate your service or product. For the sake of this rule, skip the section of your old presentation where you list the core values and the mission statement – nobody will remember that anyway – and maximize that time with a product or service demo. By offering a sample or a trial during the presentation, a presenter engages attendees and delivers a value-add so com-pelling that it makes people yearn to complete whatever task you assign them in your call to action. And finally, rethink the leave-behind one pager. You could stick with the tradi-tional 11”x17” sheet of paper. But you could also distribute your central mes-

CHANGING THE CUESIn order to respond to a cynic, the presenter must A) give valuable and reliable assistance and/or information and B) establish credibility through content, de-sign, and delivery.

1 UTILIZE THE RULE OF RECIPROCITY

Page 26: Signals - Ethos3

Presentations are all about building and maintaining credibility. The idea of creating trust sounds easy, but it often requires more work than you might imagine. Use the 6 I’s of Credibility to assess your presentation methodology.

The best presenters think outside the box. They provide something new. They bring new ideas to the table. They add value to their audience’s lives.

Am I introducing a new idea to my audience?

2 BUILD YOUR CREDIBILITY

ASK YOURSELF:

IDEATION

sage in a wholly innovative and creative format. For example, harness the pow-er of reciprocity and find an object to leave attendees with that represents your presentation theme. You’ll trigger the memories of both visual learners and tactile learners – who comprise a combined 70% of the population – with this strategy. For example, let’s say your presentation theme is knowledge. You are presenting to a modest-sized audience about the dynamic power of knowledge in the field of public service. Something as simple as giving your audience a pen with your logo and website URL on it, as well as a small notepad – can reap the benefits of the rule of reciprocity.

Page 27: Signals - Ethos3

We live in a Google-centric society, so anyone can find anything they need at any given moment in time. Your responsibility becomes two-fold: 1) Find accu-rate and relevant information and 2) Provide the right information to generate your intended result.

Influence only comes from confidence and confidence comes from prepara-tion. You need to practice at least 7-8 times before every presentation. Two times the night before and one time the morning of just won’t cut it.

Anyone can easily spot a poser or faker. Don’t be that guy or gal. Find your own authentic voice and be yourself when on stage. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your audience.

Am I providing the right information to drive decision-making?

How can I increase my confidence?

Am I being authentic?

ASK YOURSELF:

ASK YOURSELF:

ASK YOURSELF:

INFORMATION

INFLUENCE

INTEGRITY

Page 28: Signals - Ethos3

If you asked your audience to invest 30, 60, 90 minutes of their lives to hear you speak, you must have a message that is memorable. You must leave a last-ing impression or there was no reason for giving your talk in the first place.

Every presentation needs a purpose and you can provide this by ensuring you have a call to action. You need to tell your audience what they need to do now that they have been exposed to your message. If you don’t, you risk diminishing the true value of your talk.

How can I make my presentation more memorable?

Do I have a call to action?

ASK YOURSELF:

ASK YOURSELF:

IMPACT

IGNITION

Page 29: Signals - Ethos3

CONFUSION

Chapter

Barack Obama. Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs. Albert Einstein. What do these 4 people have in common? In one word: simplicity. In one sentence: All 4 public figures wear or wore the same outfit every day. For your presentations, simplic-ity is a shield to deflect confusion in your audiences. Whether your audience is a master or novice in your presentation topic, clarity is always vital to develop-ing a durable message. Dress your content in a way that is clear, but also sub-stantial for listeners. But first, let’s find out how to spot the confused audience member.

HOW TO DECODE A CONFUSEDAUDIENCE MEMBER

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not inthe multiplicity and confusion of things.

- Isaac Newton

5

Page 30: Signals - Ethos3

To locate the confused individuals in your group, first look at their eyes. If you notice furrowed eyebrows and a glaring lack of eye contact, then you have a case of confusion on your hands.

Next, move on to the lower body. A confused person might per-sistently shift their arms and legs - showing their discomfort with the gap in knowledge you have created, alongside vain attempts to fill it.

A softened tone and voice is a major hint confusion to consider on your audience care expedition.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 31: Signals - Ethos3

Psychologists coined a phrase for the right kind of confusion. Cognitive dis-equilibrium theory explains the sensation individuals experience when their expectations do not match reality, or the reality speakers are painting for them. When you create contradictions, obstacles, and surprises in your presenta-tion narrative, you are actually increasing the chance that audience members will comprehend your content and learn the lessons or information you want them to learn. According to research from a study titled AutoTutor Detects and Responds to Learners Affective and Cognitive States, when a person becomes confused by your concepts, you should let them work through it and even encourage them throughout the process. However, avoid keeping your audience in a state of cognitive disequilibrium for too long. Or else you might have an angry audience member on your hands.

CHANGING THE CUESWhen dealing with a confused audience member, there are a couple of routes you should try taking. First, you must determine the difference between the wrong and the right type of confusion when it comes to your presentation ma-terial. Second, you should repeat ideas and concepts throughout your talk. Let’s find out more...

1 MANUFACTURE THE RIGHT KIND OF CONFUSION

Page 32: Signals - Ethos3

Inject a question or thoughtful activity every 7-10 minutes. The specific inter-val of time aligns with the duration audiences can focus on your content before they begin to tune out. In addition to this, structure your narrative and script so that each section includes a slide dedicated to repeating the main messages. To improve message comprehension and retention, reinforcement through repe-tition is highly effective. A Microsoft study concluded that the most successful messages are repeated to the public 6 to 20 times. Steve Jobs, one of the great masters of repetition, leveraged the technique’s influence in his introduction of the iPad. He repeated the word “great” 23 times, followed by the word “amaz-ing” 14 times. Whether you want your audience to learn a new skill or piece of information or you want them to remember a certain feature of your product or idea, repetition is the way to cut through the clutter and confusion.

2 REINFORCE IDEAS AND CONCEPTS

Page 33: Signals - Ethos3

FIXATION

Chapter

We all have heard the story. The one about the ex-boyfriend who stalks the ex-girlfriend. He stands outside her house, reciting stanzas of poetry that he doesn’t truly understand. This boy is obsessed with an ideal that his ex-girl-friend represents. He won’t let it go. Therefore, nothing is capable of shifting his focus; of keeping him engaged in healthier pursuits.

HOW TO DECODE A FIXATEDAUDIENCE MEMBER

We often confuse determination with its evil twin: fix-ation. While determination is our ability to stand our ground while pursuing our goals. Fixation, on the other hand, is an unhealthy attachment to an ideal.

- Venugopal Gupta

6

Page 34: Signals - Ethos3

You may be dealing with a fixated audience member if you notice lip-biting or any other constant action taking place in the facial area.

Nail-biting, obsessive scratching, or constant hand-raising are all significant signs that point towards fixation.

You can expect a fixated individual to be eerily silent or exception-ally chatty. There will be no middle ground.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 35: Signals - Ethos3

Structure your presentation so that the flow from main point to main point is clear. Conclude your discussion on Point #1 before moving on to Point #2. There must be a logical order to your presentation, or else you run the risk of audience members becoming fixated on Point #1, while you’re explaining Point #2. A quick fix to this problem? Insert time for questions between each point or at 2 junctures during the course of an hour-long presentation.

CHANGING THE CUESHow does the ex-girlfriend typically divert the attention of the ex-boyfriend away from her? She would not instigate the ex-boyfriend’s behavior by continuing communications with him. The best course of action a presenter tending to a fixated audience member can take is to tie up loose ends in the content.

1 CREATE SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS

Page 36: Signals - Ethos3

A pivotal Harvard study found that adding the word “because” to a call to ac-tion increased participation from 60% to 94%. Tell your audience why they should complete an action.

Expending the time and energy it requires to deliver a presentation without concluding on a direct call to action is like spending hours in the mall and walking out empty-handed. In the digital era, face-to-face interaction is a luxu-ry. Don’t waste it. Every presentation needs a purpose. If you don’t have a call to action, then your presentation has no meaning. You must have a compelling call to action.

2 ALWAYS GIVE A REASON

PRESENTATION TIP

60% 94%

Page 37: Signals - Ethos3

PART

THR

EESigns you areon the fast track topresentation success

3

GR

E E

N

L

IGH

T

Page 38: Signals - Ethos3

ATTENTIVENESS

Chapter

Ahh. And now we have reached the part of this eBook where we talk about the easy audience members. Right? The attentive participants. The individuals so consumed in your narrative that you feel like you could be presenting in your sleep and they’d still listen. Not so fast… While an attentive audience is the most ideal for any presenter, it is also the toughest audience to generate. Why? Because attention spans have decreased by 50% in the last decade. Only 4% of page views last longer than 10 minutes, and forget it if you think an audience will watch a video over 5 minutes long. Only 9.42% do. So, look for these clear indications of an already attentive audience:

HOW TO DECODE AN ATTENTIVEAUDIENCE MEMBER

A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.

- John Henrik Clarke

7

Page 39: Signals - Ethos3

An audience member with all eyes on you is likely ultra attentive. Add wide eyes on top of visual contact and you have a winner.

If an individual is leaning forward during your speech, it signifies investment in your presentation message. An environment com-prised of people jotting down notes is a presenter’s dream.

An attentive attendee will add substance to the conversation in-stead of derailing it. While an attentive audience will ask ques-tions, they will be with the intention of clarifying a concept or even introducing a relevant idea.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 40: Signals - Ethos3

Let’s imagine a traditional agenda slide. What does it look like? Chances are it has a large header reading “Agenda” with a few bullet points to support and highlight the main points. Now, let’s think differently. What if that slide was replaced with a header that simply stated “Where Do We Go from Here?” or “Why Your Ideas Matter.” The latter puts the emphasis back on the audience so be sure to use this type of verbiage when constructing your next presenta-tion. Your presentation is not about you. It’s about your listeners. So, change your language. Use “You” and “We” more often in the very beginning. Would you rather hear a talk that starts with “This is my agenda today” or “Why this Mat-ters to You”? Exactly. Make everything about your audience.

MAXIMIZING THE CUESYes, you have the attentive audience. But you still have to work for their undi-vided attention. Here are a couple of methods for pleasing your cooperative listeners:

1 CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE

Page 41: Signals - Ethos3

A presenter needs to be cognizant of speech length and timing of presentation activities and breaks - especially the pause for lunch. In Susan Weinschenk’s 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People, she argued that speakers must refrain from mentioning food or discussing food-related topics close to lunchtime. Presenters who do will only enrage their attentive audiences and leave them wondering when they will be able to eat - or if they will be able to eat. From the beginning of your presentation, set out a defined timeline through a sleek agenda or overview slide. This will help you create a roadmap for your audience while also encouraging you to establish a cohesive structure for your narrative. A win-win in my book.

2 BE MINDFUL OF TIME

Page 42: Signals - Ethos3

Chapter

We are constantly bombarded with texts, tweets, posts, emails, and more. We can’t catch a break. As a presenter, you should avoid contributing to the noise. Instead, be a force of change. Create an atmosphere of relaxation during your presentation - whether it’s a sales pitch, a plea for awareness, or a instructional talk. Here’s how you can spot the relaxed attendees for your audience:

HOW TO DECODE A RELAXEDAUDIENCE MEMBER

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would gomad or become unstable without knowing it.

- Herodotus

8

RELAXATION

Page 43: Signals - Ethos3

Your relaxed audience members will be characterized by smiles and direct, but subtle eye contact. The less lines or creases in the forehead region of the face, the more relaxed the person.

Overall, the body of a relaxed individual will err on the side of loose. Not rigid. From the top of the head to the tip of the toes, not a single sign of tension will be present.

In the practice of yoga, obtaining control of your breathing de-termines your ability to maintain a pose. Slow, precise breaths support each position. Short, constricted breaths dismantle your strength and agility. That’s why a calm audience member will also display signs of slower breathing. His or her voice will register at a lower or deeper level than a stressed individual’s voice.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 44: Signals - Ethos3

You must always know your objective for giving a presentation. According to public speaking expert, Dale Carnegie, a presenter delivers a speech for 1 of 4 reasons:

Choose wisely and appropriately so you don’t wander about on stage. Your au-dience needs you to have a clear direction.

MAXIMIZING THE CUESI’ve got good news for you! Cultivating a relaxed audience is really pretty sim-ple. Consider employing the tactics below to attain and retain relaxed listeners in your next talk:

1 KNOW YOUR PURPOSE

TO MAKE SOMETHING CLEARTO IMPRESS AND CONVINCETO GET ACTIONTO ENTERTAIN

Page 45: Signals - Ethos3

Part of creating and keeping an audience relaxed involves obtaining their trust and increasing your likeability. Many presenters and speakers try their hand at embracing a humorous tone or approach to their content. The use of humor in general is capable of affecting your audience’s view of you as a presenter and as a person. An article from Psychology Today says bonding humor is one of the most successful styles for producing positive vibes in a social setting. Here’s what author of the article, Louise Dobson, said of individ-uals adept at bonding humor:

“These are the people who give humor a good name. They’re perceived as warm, down-to-earth and kind, good at reducing the tension in uncomfortable situations and able to laugh at their own faults.”

To utilize bonding humor, begin your presentation with a personal story that reveals a core character flaw pertinent to the overall theme of your message. Consider adopting a stream of consciousness approach where you start your speech with an inner monologue. Then, stop abruptly and return to your script-ed presentation material. You’ve likely grabbed the audience’s attention and conveyed a point through action instead of slides with text and imagery. Or you could simply dispense a few quick one-liners to put the crowd in the right frame of mind for your talk.

2 STRIKE THE FUNNY BONE

Page 46: Signals - Ethos3

Chapter

Have you ever owned a puppy? If so, you may have heard of an interesting trick. When you are away at work, professionals recommend keeping the TV on or playing music. One of my friends recently adopted a puppy and received the same bit of advice from a dog trainer - to which she replied, “Why?” The trainer explained the logic behind the methodology. A human wouldn’t want to be trapped in a space and subjected to silence for hours on end. Suddenly, it clicked for my friend. And for me. Humans - and animals - are social beings. We crave interaction. As such, it is an absolutely necessary element to include in your presentations and a positive audience signal.

HOW TO DECODE AN INTERACTIVEAUDIENCE MEMBER

For good ideas and true innovation, you needhuman interaction, conflict, argument, debate.

- Margaret Hefferman

9

INTERACTION

Page 47: Signals - Ethos3

If you’ve obtained an interactive audience, their facial expressions will show it. You will see open eyes and mouths.

Audience members will be turned towards each other instead of facing you, which isn’t always a sign of distraction. Achieving an interactive audience mandates presentation planning.

A room of interactive listeners will be loud, as your audience will be exchanging information, ideas, and questions.

BODY LANGUAGE

SPEECH AND NOISE

FACIAL EXPRESSION

Page 48: Signals - Ethos3

There are a host of methods for encouraging audience participation. Utilize an ice breaker or show of hands activity. For example, if you are presenting to a smaller audience, ask everyone to go around the room and introduce them-selves. The activity enables audience members to learn more about each other and about yourself. In addition, you also have the opportunity to pinpoint a rel-evant question that highlights a certain point in your presentation and ask your audience for a show of hands. If you are presenting about new safety features on skates, you could ask the audience if anyone has ever been hurt while on skates. This tactic allows a presenter to turn a brand or company message into a universal and personal experience.

MAXIMIZING THE CUESWhen you first sit down to create your presentation, take the time to coordinate 2-3 audience activities. It may be outside of your comfort zone, but it will go a long way in increasing the conversational element of your speeches.

1 ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE

When we think about interaction in the presentation space, our thoughts im-mediately shift to the audience. But the presenter needs to improve his or her interation as well. That’s why purchasing a presentation remote is in every pre-senter’s best interests. It will limit fumbling through slides. And, many presen-tation remotes on the market include tools that allow presenters to highlight important parts of a slide with a laser or even a spotlight.

2 INVEST IN A PRESENTATION REMOTE

Page 49: Signals - Ethos3

Your

Com

mun

ityof

Rem

embr

ance

Page 50: Signals - Ethos3

ou now have the keys to the ignition. You are able to drive the vehicle of change. Distinguish between anger, boredom, and distraction among your audience members. Discourage cyn-

icism, confusion, and fixation. Encourage attentiveness, relaxation, and interaction. Cultivate the connection between yourself and your audience. Know the group in front of you so well that you could write a book about it. Protect its interests and constantly evaluate its needs. Learn to iden-tify its triggers and respond accordingly. Are you ready? It’s time for you to achieve total audience awareness.

Y

Page 52: Signals - Ethos3

Recommended