In my profession, I give a lot of speeches on change management tools and techniques, as well as longer roll-up-your-sleeves presentations/workshops. Over the years, it occurred to me that there were three things that distinguished presentations that truly stand out. I am talking about presentations in which you expect people to take something useful away. You hired a speaker because you believed he or she would offer something important to your organization.
The Audience Needs to Believe That This Topic is Critically Important to Them
When people are forced to attend a session or you bring in a speaker just to fill a slot in the agenda, you risk wasting people’s time and your money.If you expect people to learn something, then they need to come to the meeting with high expectations. They need to be hungry to hear what’s being said. When that occurs, people are engaged, they ask probing and challenging questions, and they start connecting what the speaker is saying to what they need to learn. And if the speaker fails to deliver, they will challenge him or her.