A child wearing a dunce cap in class, from a staged photo c.1906
So you want to be a speaker, workshop facilitator aka presenter? The benefits are exposure for your business and brand, lead generation, and networking. A public speaking platform can lead to far more business as well as a rewarding experience for you. We are public speakers, workshop facilitators, and presenters in support of our business at Inner Architect and we have experienced the challenges of public speaking first hand.
The following is a short profile of the 3 most challenging types of audience members you may encounter in your public speaking career. Take notice because if you decide to perform, you WILL run into all three of these people. For your sanity, I hope you won’t have all three types in your audience at the same time.
3 Most Challenging Audience Members
1. Dissatisfied Customer: this person is very negative, aggressive, and often verbally combative. They will make pointed remarks to tell you, and your audience, that your presentation is less than relevent, you are less than knowledgable, and they are dissatisfied with the entire experience. There is no appeasing or reasoning with this person; their purpose is selfish fulfillment of a need to lash out
2. Know it All: this person believes they know everything about the subject matter and have a burning desire to let the audience know how smart they are–to the detriment of you the speaker. They need the spotlight but they are unwilling to launch their own speaking platform. It is safer to be sitting in an audience than to stand up and become a target.
3. Disconnected: this person did not read the workshop-presentation description. They are normally complete beginners. They become increasingly frustrated with your presentation because it is not giving the “how to” beginner’s first steps.
Look For These Warning Signs
- Do not listen, partially listen missing the gist or point, or selectively listen for what “they want to hear”
- Abbruptly interrupt with a continuous stream of questions that goes beyond good decorum
- Disrupt the class, workshop, presentation in a self serving selfish manner with little to no regard for fellow students
- WILL provoke you to the point of placing you, the speaker, in the position of having to take action ie. asking them to hold questions until after presentation, asking them to listen since you answered the question, and in some cases forcing you to eject them from the class because they are ruining the attendees’ ability to participate, learn, and enjoy the material