Tag Archives: audience

Sawubona: See your audience

I recently wrote a post for Presentation Guru on the importance of “seeing” your audience.  It was based on the Zulu word sawubona. Zulu, or isiZulu, is one of South Africa’s official languages and is spoken by approximately 10 million people. Sawubona means, “I see … Continue reading

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12 ways to piss off your audience

Why make an effort for your audience when you can just piss them off? Too difficult, you say? Not at all! There are so many things you can do to anger, frustrate and confuse an audience. If you’re struggling for … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 273) – Jim Harvey

“If you don’t understand what the audience wants, you can’t be relevant. If you can’t be relevant, you won’t be interesting. If you aren’t interesting, you won’t be heard. If you’re not heard, you’ll be forgotten. If you’re forgotten, you’re … Continue reading

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Don’t blow it with your audience

Last week I attended the graduation ceremony for the class of a business school where I teach. The graduates had taken their seats, the audience was settled in, the three-piece orchestra had just finished the last of its pieces. Everything … Continue reading

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What if we put the audience first?

What if we stopped … … thinking of people as just number filling seats? … focusing on how we look, where we’re putting our hands, whether people will like us? … wondering whether this speaking engagement will lead to a … Continue reading

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David Blaine and the magic of a preposition

David Blaine is my favourite magician. I first saw him on television years ago doing tricks for people on the street. Since then, Blaine’s career has morphed into performing such death-defying feats as shooting himself in the mouth or holding … Continue reading

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The life-changing magic of tidying up your presentations

As I write this post, my wife and I are approximately three weeks into a massive effort to tidy up our home. This is no ordinary, annual clean-up; this is a methodical full-on assault to go through all of our … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 250) – Seth Godin

“You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged. The topic of the talk isn’t you, the topic of the talk is the audience, and specifically, how they can use your … Continue reading

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Lessons in Simplicity from Apple’s Former Ad Agency Creative Director

Recently I have been catching up on some reading material that sits in a stack on a side desk. (The stack grows and shrinks, but I suspect that the stack will always be there.) One of the articles that caught … Continue reading

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Zen and the Art of Public Speaking

Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was published in 1974. The book has sold more than 5 million copies and is widely considered a modern philosophical classic. In Zen, Pirsig discusses the metaphysics of quality. He explores the subject over the course of … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 242) – Bruno Giussani

“When people sit in a room to listen to a speaker, they are offering her something extremely precious, something that isn’t recoverable once given: a few minutes of their time and of their attention. Her task is to use that time … Continue reading

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Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 237) – Adele

“I’m scared of audiences. I get shitty scared. One show in Amsterdam, I was so nervous I escaped out the fire exit. I’ve thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile-vomited on someone. I just gotta bear … Continue reading

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