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Asking Early For "Lessons Learned" Will Help Your Audience GET IT!

by Fred Miller

Before taking questions and closing my presentations, I often asked the audience to share something they learned from my talk. So often, few people raised their hands. Some of the low response was because attendees were experiencing a fear of public speaking. Others were probably caught off guard by my request.

Getting attendees to share something they think has value is an important part of many presentations because research shows:
• Audiences have very short attention spans. It’s unusual for someone to give his or her undivided attention for an entire presentation.
• People hearing something they disagree with can result in them turning off much of the remaining presentation.

Finding a way to get more people contributing what they gain from my talks would help everyone learn more.

Now, after my Opening I do two important things to help my audience GET IT!
1. I offer a Disclaimer.
A disclaimer is a short acknowledgement that “my way is not the only way.” I readily admit that others have good ideas on this topic and suggest to the audience that they “absorb everything and squeeze out what they don’t need.”
2. I tell them I’ll be asking for “Lessons Learned” at the end of my talk.
“Towards the end of my presentation and before the last Q&A session, I’m going to ask you for “Lessons Learned.” When you hear something of value, please write it down so you can share it when I call on you.

Experience tells me that by telling you now,
• You’ll pay more attention and get more out of this talk.
• Other folks will hear things you missed, and sharing each other’s insights will be valuable for everyone.”

By giving your audience a Disclaimer and telling them you’ll be asking for “Lessons Learned,” I guarantee your presentations will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!

Fred Miller ( is a Speaker, International Coach and Author. Businesses and individuals hire him to improve their public speaking and presentaiton skills.


Submitted 3 years 22 days ago
Categories: categoryNo Sweat Public Speaking
Views: 2421