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Dealing with audience distractions

From: PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations

Video: Dealing with audience distractions

Distractions can be a frustrating experience for any presenter, seasoned or not. Let's talk about how you can deal with 5 of these distractions. We will start with the sneezer. People sneeze and cough; it's a fact of life. And as a presenter you have to put up with all kinds of minor noises and distractions. The key is to ignore these sneezes and coughs like they never happened. Don't say bless you or give them any special attention. Just repeat what you said, and move on. If you have a habitual sneezer, discreetly offer them a tissue, but if it gets really bad, remain calm and take a break.

Dealing with audience distractions

Distractions can be a frustrating experience for any presenter, seasoned or not. Let's talk about how you can deal with 5 of these distractions. We will start with the sneezer. People sneeze and cough; it's a fact of life. And as a presenter you have to put up with all kinds of minor noises and distractions. The key is to ignore these sneezes and coughs like they never happened. Don't say bless you or give them any special attention. Just repeat what you said, and move on. If you have a habitual sneezer, discreetly offer them a tissue, but if it gets really bad, remain calm and take a break.

Just don't make it into a big deal. The Interrogator--every meeting has one of these. They ask a lot of questions and many of them wouldn't even be necessary if they would just pay attention. The most important thing is to address their question, but what if they keep coming? Eventually, you're going to have to put a cap on things. Tell the guest politely that there's a limited amount of time and that you would be glad to answer all of the remaining questions at the end of the presentation, during the allotted Q&A time, or even after.

You can remind them that others in the audience might have questions too and that you'd like to reserve some time for them. The Troublemaker--so you have a heckler, or maybe they're being rude talking on their cell phone, eating loudly, or any other number of other ways to annoy you and the rest of the audience. Most of these situations can be resolved by mixing things up. Announced to the audience this will be a great time to take a break or maybe tell everyone to split in the small groups and work on a team exercise. Then deal with your special guest privately.

Don't let one person ruin the presentation for everyone else, and remind them that their actions are affecting everyone. If the problem persists, don't engage the guest any further. Simply contact security, management, or someone who can resolve the situation with authority. Then return right where you left off after the break. The Outsider--these are the guys doing their work outside so loud it's affecting your ability to communicate. What's important here is to deal with the situation through delegation. As soon as you hear that coffee grinder or diesel generator start up, you have got a choice to make.

If you can close the door and resume without interruption, great. If not, either call for a break or delegate someone to take care of the noise for you. In other words, don't walk away from your audience to resolve the issue. Get someone to help or just pause the show. The Boss--when you're presenting and someone with influence is in the audience, you run the risk of turning them into a distraction. iIt's not their fault. You want to impress them, close the deal, or make sure they get the message. The problem is that you might give them so much focus, you're neglecting at the entire audience and singling them out.

When you present, think of everyone in the room as perfectly equal. Quit staring at your boss and spread the charm equally. The skills discussed here will come with practice. Before long you'll be handling the most disruptive of audience members with ease, delivering your presentation gracefully, no matter what comes your way.

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PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Business Presentations

50 video lessons · 20431 viewers

David Diskin
Author

 
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  1. 1m 47s
    1. Welcome
      47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 0s
  2. 10m 43s
    1. Adding white space
      2m 13s
    2. Applying a transition
      2m 10s
    3. Reducing the text
      2m 37s
    4. Selecting objects with ease
      2m 26s
    5. Opening with Show
      1m 17s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. What's your point?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting in their heads
      2m 29s
    3. What's in it for them?
      1m 55s
    4. Piecing it together
      5m 49s
    5. Holding their hands
      2m 34s
  4. 30m 49s
    1. Understanding the importance of design
      4m 12s
    2. Using color and fonts
      3m 18s
    3. Maintaining consistency
      4m 57s
    4. Using photographs
      5m 21s
    5. Sharing data with charts
      5m 20s
    6. Making your data meaningful
      2m 23s
    7. Using diagrams and SmartArt
      5m 18s
  5. 46m 31s
    1. Breaking the slide into sections
      3m 56s
    2. Fine-tuning shapes and text boxes
      5m 43s
    3. Enhancing text boxes
      7m 46s
    4. Customizing layouts and templates
      6m 7s
    5. Building your own layouts
      4m 59s
    6. Animating bullets
      3m 12s
    7. Animating photos
      4m 56s
    8. Animating other objects
      5m 41s
    9. Inserting music and other audio elements
      4m 11s
  6. 16m 18s
    1. Taking control
      1m 46s
    2. Setting display resolution and improving clarity
      3m 18s
    3. Including hidden slides and custom shows
      4m 21s
    4. Utilizing speaker notes
      2m 17s
    5. Using Presenter view
      2m 2s
    6. Creating handouts
      2m 34s
  7. 27m 52s
    1. Planning the program
      3m 6s
    2. Using the presenter checklist
      2m 39s
    3. Knowing what to do when things go wrong
      5m 16s
    4. Sharing your message
      2m 40s
    5. Making the motions
      2m 0s
    6. Questions and answers
      1m 43s
    7. Reading your audience
      2m 41s
    8. Dealing with audience distractions
      3m 4s
    9. Setting up and tearing down
      4m 43s
  8. 19m 28s
    1. During the show
      1m 31s
    2. Creating a photo slideshow
      4m 8s
    3. Letting the slideshow be the star
      1m 41s
    4. Sharing with your audience
      6m 36s
    5. Keyboard and mouse tricks
      5m 32s
  9. 6m 30s
    1. The good, the bad, and the ugly: A recap
      5m 32s
    2. Additional resources
      58s

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