What sets a good presenter apart from a great presenter? Their ability to listen. Listening is a skill that has quickly dissipated as our attention spans shrink. Always in a hurry, we are often sitting in front of a person and not comprehending or retaining anything they say. Rather we are moving on to the next project that needs to get accomplished.

For a presenter, the quickest way to lose respect and connection with an audience member is through distracted listening. Whether you are checking your watch, looking at a notification or just plain glossing over, not paying attention to your audience can be not just disrespectful, it can be detrimental.

While the ability to listen is crucial it is a skill many of us must force ourselves to implement. Know this is such a difficult skill we have put together 3 tips to help you engage in active listening with every person you encounter.

Turn on Do Not Disturb

With the rise of smart technology, notifications are constantly fighting for our attention. While this may be fine in your office on presentation day these distractions communicate a lack of interest and lack of engagement. When heading into a presentation set all smart devices to do not disturb ensuring you will not be notified or distracted during any conversation.

Make Mental Comparisons

As a presenter, it can be hard to remember each person you talk to and what it was you covered. That is why we recommend making mental comparisons during conversations. A mental comparison is connecting the person in front of you to someone you know or a story you’ve experienced. By doing this you will not only be likelier to remember what you talked about, but you will be far more likely to listen and engage with uninterrupted focus.

Allow Ample Time

One of the largest strains a presenter feels on presentation day is the time. Ensuring your presentation starts and ends on time is a daunting task. Throw in undirected conversations with audience members and a presenter can quickly feel the pressure of the ticking clock. This pressure can lead the presenter inadvertently to communicate a lack of time or interest in the audience member they are talking to communicating that you are not listening. By ensuring you have ample time to discuss and engage with the audience you relieve that pressure and allow yourself to relax in the moment listening intently to what your audience is saying.

Listening is a task we all must learn to master. As a presenter it is a skill you must never let slip because it can mean the difference between a successful presentation and a lack luster performance.

Looking to learn more about delivering an excellent presentation? Contact our team today to find out more.

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