Do your audiences pay attention?

presenting queen attentionI was lucky enough to be whisked away to Florence for a surprise 25th Wedding Anniversary holiday. A whole week away from the kids, indulging in delicious food, good wines, stunning architecture and of course Art. Quick disclaimer here. I am not a great appreciator of Art but very happy to expose myself to different types of art work to see what takes my fancy and imagination.

While wandering through the  museum I did notice a very bizarre situation when it came to viewing these famous and magnificent paintings that made me pause for thought though.

There happened to be a very large party of young Japanese visitors in the museum the day we visited. And this is what they did. Walking at a brisk pace, they stood in front of a painting, pointed their camera, clicked and moved on without further pause to the next painting where they repeated the whole process. The whole gallery it seemed was viewed in this way and it really puzzled me.

What was gained? What was the point? At least look at the picture before taking a photo. Or even take a photo and then look at the painting. But not to look at all seemed odd. And a waste of an opportunity.

I wonder if there are members of audiences who do the same in our presentations. They are physically there and nominally at least want to take something away from the experience. But their involvement is limited to taking away a snapshot, a gist of what we say, not prepared to invest more time or effort in understanding.

And our role as speaker is to break through that brisk walk through. How can we engage these visitors right from the word go? How can we encourage them to pause and reflect? How can we make sure that they have a lasting meaningful experience while they are present? When we know how to do this, then we become more than simply competent speakers. We become inspirational thought leaders.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply