Managing the Audience’s Reaction To Your Presentation – Part 6

Written by Matteo Cassese

In the first lessons of this module we learned that we need to motivate our audience and recently we recognized that we need to transform our audience, but now we have to deal with the reactions.

And here we notice one particular thing. Our audience is made of individuals; and each individual will have their own, unique way to react to our material. They’re all having a different reaction, and that’s totally fine. Every single reaction in every single moment of your presentation is not so important. It’s not the goal to please everyone, it’s not the goal to make everyone laugh, and it’s not the goal to involve everyone at the same time.

In order to better understand how unique and individual our audience is, let’s look at some categories of audience members. I don’t want to make a list that includes everything, I just want to give you some examples.

The first example for me are the “Confused.” To them, any information is way too much information, and they will always be a little bit puzzled by new data and new concepts.

There’s another group, a particularly lovely one, they’re the “Fans.” You don’t have to judge your presentation by how they react, because they think that everything you say is gold and all your jokes make them roll on the floor laughing.

There’s the “Contrarians,” they’re the opposite group to the fans, they will always oppose you in any possible way and throw you those hardball questions at the end of the presentation.

There’s the “Swingers.” I particularly dislike this group let’s say, because everything you say to them is awesome as is everything anyone says, even the opposite of what you’ve just said, yay!

There’s the ”Workers.” Sometimes, I’m one of them. They listen to you but they have their eyes glued to their device, to their laptop, to their iPad, and they just glance at you only if you say something really, really interesting, otherwise, they work away.

There’s the “Tweeters.” The Tweeters listen to you very, very, very attentively so that they can have that one bit of information, that short quote that will make them look smart on social media.

There’s the “Networkers.” They listen to you, they listen to every word but they are not really interested directly in your content but rather in your contact.

What should you do? How do you please everyone? This is the big question, how do you transform all your audience into nice little dots? My response to this is that you don’t.

You just leave your audience as it is, they will react differently and don’t ever try to please everyone at the same time. It’s really not possible. You don’t please everyone but you give something to everyone. Based on your research, you know what the goals are, what the outcomes of the different groups that make your audience are. So you give a little bit of something to each one of them.

Your presentation also has a hidden goal, and this goal is to transform this audience into a group. But, how do you achieve that? Well, it’s quite easy. The way you transform your audience into a group is by letting them experience your presentation all together. And slowly going through the core transformation of your presentation, your audience will have the same way of feeling, the same way of seeing your topic and become a group and start reacting in unison.

Summary:

  • Everyone will react differently to your material, and that’s fine
  • Don’t try to please everyone at the same time
  • Transform your audience into a group

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Who is Matteo Cassese?

Hi! I’m a marketing consultant and an enthusiastic entrepreneur with experience working for multinational companies (Warner Bros.), teaching at a university (Link Campus University), and consulting for entertainment companies (Netflix). I’m a scholar of storytelling and have dug deep into screenwriting techniques, mythology, and trans-media narratives. This passion is translated in the simple structure template that you get in all my courses. In my free time I enjoy driving cars (fast).

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