Reasons your audience wants to fast forward your presentation

Don’t waste time telling your audience how useful your talk will be. Get to the meat of your presentation as soon as possible—before everyone tunes out.

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Maybe my TV has spoiled me, but in so many of the presentations I’ve attended recently, I’ve wanted a remote control with a fast-forward button.

You know what I mean. You want to hear the speaker’s useful and valuable information, but he’ll drag out the trivial, low-value material, and then run out of time before he gets to the important stuff.

When you present, how do you make sure your audience doesn’t want to press the fast-forward button?

Avoid these three danger areas:

1. Delivering too much background

If you find yourself saying, “Before I start,” take stock. You have started! Get on with it.

Another dangerous phrase—among many—is, “Let me give you some background. Presenters often overestimate how much background an audience actually needs.

I cringe when I attend a seminar and the speaker spends ages telling me how useful the material is going to be. I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t think it was going to be useful. Please move on. Telling me that it’s going to be useful is not useful. Stop selling and start telling!

This phrase is also common: “To start, let me tell you something about my company.”

Quick! Where’s the remote?

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