Sure-Fire Approach to Losing Your Audience in the First Three Minutes

What might cause our audience members to disengage? What are reasons listeners may tune us out? Be aware of this opening killer. Use it—and your audience will lose it.

Starting with “It’s so good to be here” fluff.

Once I was attending a conference where the keynote speaker spent more than 20 minutes talking about how great it was to be in that city, how wonderful the restaurants were and where he had eaten the night before, and how he wasn’t expecting it to be as cool there at night as it was. He also dropped the line about the exotic location of his last presentation and proceeded to tell us all the gory details of his delayed flight.

The woman seated next to me turned and said, “I didn’t pay to come to this conference to hear him talk about the restaurants and give me a weather report.”

Our audiences are time savvy and not very patient with fluff and filler. They want to know what we know; they want us to get to the point. They have people to see, places to go, things to do. Speakers should respect the audience’s investment of time.


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.


Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 


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