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Asking early for “Lessons Learned” will . . .

Updated: Feb 29

Lessons Learned

Help Your Audience GET IT by asking for Lessons Learned!

Before taking questions and closing my presentations, I often asked the audience to share something they learned from my talk. Occasionally, very few hands were raised.

That frustrated me because I knew I had presented a lot of great material. Why weren’t folks raising their hands?

I realized some of that low response was because of the Fear of Public Speaking. Many share that fear and hate speaking in group situations. Others were probably caught off guard by my question and, given time, would have come up with a few responses.

Getting attendees to share something they thought has value is an important part of many presentations.

The research shows:

  1. Audiences have very short attention spans. It is unusual for someone to give the speaker their undivided attention for the entire presentation. Information considered new and important by some can easily be missed by other attendees.

  2. Another finding was that when people in the audience hear something they disagree with, the likelihood of them turning off much of the remaining presentation increases dramatically.

I understood that finding a way to get more people contributing what they gained from my talk would help everyone learn more.

Now, after my Opening and before starting to deliver the body of my presentation, I do two important things to better help my audience GET IT!

  1. I give a Disclaimer: A short acknowledgement that “my way is not the only way.” I’m admitting others have good ideas on this topic and suggest to the audience that they “absorb everything and squeeze out what they don’t need.” This keeps them from tuning out everything I say after hearing a statement or concept they may not agree with.

  2. I tell them I’ll be asking for “Lessons Learned.” Example: “Towards the end of my presentation and before the last Q&A session I’m going to ask you for “Lessons Learned.” When you hear something of value, please write it down so you can share it when I call on you. Experience tells me that by telling you now. •  You’ll pay more attention and get more out of this talk. •  Folks will hear things you missed and sharing each other’s insights will be valuable for everyone.”

By giving your audience a Disclaimer and telling them you’ll be asking for “Lessons Learned,” I guarantee your presentations will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books,“NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and“NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, andPresentation Skills.

They do this because they know:"Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities."

They also know:We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching

  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

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