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Speakers: Instructions For Your Audience Are. . .

W Wouldn’t It Be Nice If. . .

Before your presentation, your Audience had specific instructions and training on how to be a Good Audience?

An audience can make or break a presentation.

A good, enthusiastic group gives the speaker responses and energy that lead to a better presentation.

Audiences with individuals who have their own agendas and don’t respect the speaker’s efforts, can disrupt an otherwise, good presentation.  This can lead to, frustration for the presenter, a less than stellar performance, and the audience not GETTING the speaker’s message.

If the speaker has developed and practiced a speech, the audience should follow certain “Guidelines” that give the presenter an opportunity to deliver their message so the audience GETS IT!  They don’t have to agree with all of it.  They don’t have to agree with any of it.  However, unless they GET IT! there can’t be a significant discussion going forward.

To help the speaker, and the audience, I’ve compiled a set of:

Audience Instructions

  1. Arrive well before the scheduled event.

    1. Arriving after an event has started and finding a seat is disruptive to everyone.

  2. If you can meet the presenter before their presentation, befriendly and say, “I’m looking forward to your presentation!”  That short sentence gives the speaker added incentive and energy for their upcoming talk.

  3. Smart speakers, if possible, Meet & Greet audience participants before the presentation.  They greet people as they enter the room, and thank them for coming.  This activity “connects” the speaker to the participants.  It’s a technique that lowers the speaker’s anxiety and usually leads to a more attentive audience.

  4. Sit so that your whole body faces the speaker.  This isn’t a problem if chairs are already arranged in a classroom style.  Sometimes, though, the presentation is after a meal where people are seated at round tables.  It is best for the people to turn their chairs to face the presenter.

  5. Be an Active Listener.

    1. Lean towards the speaker.

    2. Be able to repeat the last statement the speaker made.

    3. Make eye contact with the presenter.

    4. If the speaker asks a question like, “Does that make sense?” Motion your head up and down if it does, side to side if it doesn’t.

      1. A good speaker should always be taking the temperature of the audience and nonverbal communication is important to them for letting them know if you’re GETTING IT!

  6. If you want to ask the speaker a question, wait till the proper time.

  7. An experienced speaker, in their Opening, will tell the audience how and when they will be handling questions.

  8. It’s possible, the question you have, will be answered at a point further in the presentation.

  9. Jot it down so you don’t forget to ask if it isn’t covered.

  10. Don’t wave your hand trying to ask questions when it’s not the Q&A part of the presentation.

  11. It’s distracting to the speaker and others in the audience.

  12. When asking a question, be polite in your language even if you disagree with something the speaker said.

  13. They should show you the same courtesy.

  14. If you have more than one question, give others a chance to ask theirs before attempting to ask another.

  15. Don’t talk to others, text, eat, drink, or do anything that could be distracting to the audience or speaker during the presentation.

  16. Applaud!

  17. It’s the courteous thing to do, even if you didn’t like what the speaker said or disagreed with them.  They have usually worked hard on their presentation and should be applauded (literally) for their effort.

  18. If possible, approach the speaker afterwards and Thank Them.

  19. Do this even if you disagreed with some of their points.  Most likely, they put much time, thought and effort into their speech.  That should be respected and acknowledged.

  20. If there were specific things you gained from the presentation, mention those when thanking them.

  21. Following up with a Thank You email or a personal note, and being specific in your appreciation, will always be appreciated

Following these guidelines will insure the audience receives the best presentation the speaker can deliver!

For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and author of the book, “No Sweat Public Speaking!” Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts.

They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Leadership Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – No Sweat!

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