The other day I attended a talk on procurement by a university lecturer who had vast experience in the corporate world.  The talk could have been really interesting but wasn’t.  Why? Because he assumed that his audience members all came from larger companies with full-time purchasing and procurement departments.   In fact, we were the opposite and had he done his homework he could have turned the talk around 180 degrees and looked at ways that smaller organisations can negotiate effectively with the buyers in larger companies.

He had all the knowledge and experience needed for an immensely useful talk, but his chosen approach was not relevant to the audience.  What’s even worse is that he found out this mismatch early on in the presentation and did nothing about it.  He just stuck to his plan and thus continued to alienate his audience.

So what can we learn from this situation:

1) Do your research – understand your audience before you speak – don’t assume!

2) Tailor your message yo suit the needs of your audience – make it relevant.

It’s not rocket silence but yet still thousands of presenters fall into this trap every day!   I hope you won’t after reading this post.

Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment now!

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