Peter D. Hedderley
Technology Specialist & IT Consultant

"Software is like a lucid dream, limited only by our imagination and ingenuity
- we are the architects, sculptors, rule-makers and rule-breakers."
Peter D. Hedderley.

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Keeping Your Audience

In all walks of life where it is necessary to influence and inspire others there is a high risk of losing your audience. This may literally occur when giving a lecture or presentation, but it is also possible to “lose your audience” in terms of losing the respect, interest or influence on a group of people (for example a manager losing the respect of his employees, etc.)

To avoid losing your audience:

  • Authority - if you plan to communicate something - be sure you are qualified and experienced enough to do so - if you lack knowledge - brush-up beforehand!
  • Relevance - the information that you deliver should be relevant to the lives, work or interests of those to whom you wish to deliver it. Help your audience to understand why the information is or should be relevant to them.
  • Plausibility - your information should be up-to-date, honest, realistic and well-founded.
  • Language - use the language of your audience - for example, by avoiding “management speak” or “technical jargon”.
  • Teach - don't wait for your audience to ask you to explain things - offer easy-to-understand explanations of terms and concepts that you present - expand abbreviations at least once so that people don't have to ask - be a teacher but don't be a preacher.
  • Status - do not let your status hang out - for example, just because you can afford tickets to the opera and like caviar, it doesn't mean you should rub this under the noses of your employees.
  • Heart - be yourself, show feeling, be humble, be likable.


  • Water - take a glass of water and sip from it occasionally.
  • Eye Contact - keep eye contact with your audience - talk to them - not at them.
  • Energy - be energetic - be interested - be passionate. If you are not interested - how can your audience be expected to be.
  • Confidence - know your stuff, know your limits, be open and honest.
  • Improvise - don't simply read from your slides - know your material and talk about it - let the slides guide you.
  • Breaks - if it's a long presentation, give people 5-10 minute breaks in-between.
  • Air - air the room regularly - stuff rooms result in stuff presentations.
  • Time - don't take more time than people expect and don't drag on.

Published on 12.01.2012 - Logica Intranet Blog of Peter Hedderley

articles/keeping_your_audience.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/11 21:00 by Peter Hedderley