Stop Talking At Your Audience; Start Talking With Them

I’m currently working on a talk I’m giving at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business. The topic is Internet Entrepreurship in 2009: Where’s the Opportunity? And if you’re in Evanston on Tuesday, Feb 3rd at 12:15, Room 101, I’d love to see you there, at the talk or at some point that day.

I’m not going to give away what I will talk about. What I am going to talk about is one simple way to avoid one of my pet peeves: bad presentations

I talked about this in a previous (and popular) blog post, but the point of today’s article isn’t how to give a presentation, but rather this mindset:

Stop talking at your audience, and start talking with them.

You’re most likely relaying information or trying to persuade an audience to your point of view. Regardless, engaging your audience will give you the best chance at succeeding in both. Think about what bores you in a classroom, and avoid that at all costs. Moving, asking questions, and being active all help, but you need to have the mindset first.

This honestly applies to more than just presentations. How you treat others, how you pitch customers, and how you do customer service are dramatically different based on whether you talk at them or whether you talk with them.

Now I’m tuning back in to the Super Bowl. Hope to see you Tuesday. I’ll post more on presentations soon. But if you have a thought, add it to the comments!