Making something personal, resonates. When we listen to someone who is talking directly to us, it means something because we connect the message to our personal experiences and circumstances. Have you been in that situation where you are one of many in the audience, but you feel that the person presenting, is talking to you personally?
You may also have been in a situation where you sense that the person is presenting something that they may have presented many times before, to a host of different audiences. What is it that tells you that, and so disengages you from the significance of that message?
It may be many things, now that you’re starting to think about it. It may happen when you see a presenter flip over a slide or even a number of slides, because they say it’s not relevant to you, yet it’s still in their slide deck. It happens when you listen to stories and examples which are not connected to yours, and when a presenter speaks in a dissociated tone, because they may not recognise the significance or impact on the audience, of something they’ve just said.
A guest speaker, who has come to give us an insight into a whole different world or experience, is a perfect contrast to this way of thinking. Here, the speaker wants you to absorb yourself in their world, and we want that too. The connection you make is at a much higher level.
So when it’s our turn to go from listener to speaker, let’s think about the audience, and our own experiences as an observer and listener. Let’s make a conscious decision to make it personal.