When you’re presenting to an important audience, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing so much on yourself that the audience is left out in the cold.

This reminds me of an early lesson I learned when I was first starting out as a public speaker.

I remember that an agent called and told me he had a gig for me in Scotch Plains NJ.  Boy was I excited.  I couldn’t wait to get there and show everybody what I had.  Well, I got about 10 minutes into my act when the woman who hired me came right up to me during my show and said, “Can you do anything else?”

Turns out that she wasn’t pleased with what I was doing. She wasn’t pleased with my performance. She asked me to leave.  At the time, I was devastated. However, looking back, what I thought was the worst day of my life, turned out to be the best day of my career.

I went home and took a good long look at myself and what I was doing. I realized that, if I was being honest, the answer to the woman’s question was “No.” She was getting all I had when it came to skills and talents.

That’s when I to committed to doing whatever I had to do so that I would never hear that question again.  If anyone ever asked me if there was anything else I could do, the answer would always be, “Of course!” The lesson I learned was that it is never about me. It was always about what the client wants.

That lesson still stays with me today when I talk to my coaching clients about stepping up and standing out when you have the opportunity to present.

The Evolution of a Public Speaker

Most everyone starts out thinking that it’s all about them.  Then, as they start to grow as a public speaker, the next natural phase is to not only think it’s all about me but now it’s all about this great message.  The fact is, true growth as a public speaker, or anyone giving a presentation, comes when you realize that it is not about you and it is not about your message.  It is about your audience and what your audience needs.  How you can help them improve.

So, yes, you can be a powerful presenter and you can have a powerful message, but it has to be delivered for the sake of your audience. True success comes when you realize it’s about the client or the audience.

As you prepare for your next presentation, make sure you hit the mark with your audience. Work with a communication expert who can help you elevate your presentation skills and gain the audience’s attention – and keep it!

Join Us for a Free Lunch & Learn Workshop

Attend a complimentary presentation skills seminar, The Art of Public Speaking, on Wednesday August 21, 2019.  You’ll learn how to start your presentation by getting the attention of your audience, while avoiding distractions and keeping command of the room.