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Become an Engaging Presenter

Lesson 5 of 15

Break Down Audience Barriers


Become an Engaging Presenter

Lesson 5 of 15

Break Down Audience Barriers


Lesson Info

Break Down Audience Barriers

You may not know this, but when you're an audience, you have barriers. And, I have to break those down. There are a few barriers that are really, really important. I know what you do when you come in here. And, I have to know what the audience is, and you have these barriers that come up, and you're like, I'm not listening. And, then I break them down a little bit, and I'm like listen, you're listening a little bit, you get this. And, then two seconds later, they're back up. 'Cause they don't stay the same. It's not winning the audience for the entire presentation. It is a constant battle, maybe. So, I have to allow you to come back to me. That's why when I change topics, I might move. Why I re-engage with you, and I pay attention to everyone. Why I let the people in the internet know, I'm here and I get that you're watching this. I have to re-engage because you have a different agenda. Everybody who comes in the audience, they're already thinking about their own agenda. What am I comp...

eting with? I'm really competing with he internet. Everyone has a cell phone. Everybody has other work their doing. So, I come in and I go listen, let's talk. I've got something to tell you. And, even if it's something where someone says, I've set up a time to have you present because I might hire you as my consultant, I know they're thinking about 19 other things. That's why I love that warm up exercise, or connect with them, or tell them a story, up front. 'Cause all of a sudden, human beings, we think in conflict and character. The minute I tell them a story, they start to lower those barriers. And, then I can get in there, and I can stay this is the work I really wanna do now. We're here. So, I have to think about that. It's really, really important. What is the attention span of human beings, right now? It's very small. I know this. There have been many studies. One of them that's out says that the attention span of human beings is eight seconds. Congratulations to us. The attention span of goldfish is nine seconds. Congratulations to them. So, literally, we have a shorter attention span than a fish. And, I know that. So, if I stay on the same topic the whole time. If I try to keep digging into what you're suppose to hear, you're already gone. So, that's why I need to have, not only variety in my voice, but variety in my message, and know how to connect with you. It's really, really important. The other thing that happens with audience barriers, is you guys are a diverse audience. Everybody who's watching online, incredibly diverse. Different ages, different learning styles, different likes, different dislikes, so I know that, so I have to change how I connect with people, so that I know that I'm connecting with the right people. It's really, really important. How about environment? That's another barrier. Are you guys comfortable? If it were 95 degrees in here, you'd be gone. Because that barrier of environment is really important. Is it a comfortable space? Is it well lit? Can you hear me? All those things are important. And, you're now trained not to absorb information. You may think you are, but you're trained not to absorb information. Why do we have an eight second attention span? Welcome to technology and the internet. Welcome to recording, hello. Why do I need to listen to Andy when I can listen to him 37 times later this week? Which everyone will do, by the way. (laughter) So, you have to think about that, right? What is the attention span, and why are people not absorbing what I'm saying? My message, hopefully, is central and you're getting it, but that effective communication is broken down because you don't need to. You'll get it. In a business meeting, you'll get the important points. I'll ask my co-worker, tell me what I'm suppose to do. So, you have to think about that. And, that last part is really judgment. I know you're all judging me. And, I don't take that negatively, but you should be. Am I doing a good job? Are you listening, are these important points? Have I not thought about this? Do I follow tradition versus following what I think is right for these presentations? This is all part of it. So, I know that barrier comes up, and I have to pay attention to it. If I'm sunk in my deck, then you're sunk in my deck. And, I've given all the power, all of a sudden, this monitor becomes the leader.

Class Description

Does your work require you to give presentations? Are you just getting through them and hoping for the best but not quite hitting the mark? 

Are you building decks to pitch your ideas and to present to clients, but feel as though your presentation skills are mediocre at best? 

Have you lost out on opportunities because you failed to connect with your audience? It’s time to learn how to improve your presentation skills and to start actually enjoying the entire process. 

Join former Late Night with Conan O’Brien performer, accomplished career coach, and small business owner Andrew Whelan to learn how to be an engaging, dynamic presenter. 

This class is short, actionable, and something you can always reference before you go into a pitch. 

In this class you will learn how to: 

  • Prepare your story and rehearse 
  • Prioritize your message 
  • Improve your vocal strength and physical presence 
  • Get emotionally connected with your audience 
  • Keep the momentum going to develop a rhythm 
  • Read cues, connect with your audience and present yourself as an authority 
  • Manage anxiety and handle the unexpected 



This is my second time as an audience member for Creative Live, and I have to tell you all - I'm hooked! I decided to give it a shot because I'm genuinely interested in the subject being covered, it is a wonderful networking opportunity, and its free for audience members - so I receive the course and the bonus materials. For those of you that are nervous about the cameras like I was, let me assure you that you hardly even notice them. If you ever watched a few courses before becoming an audience member, you can tell how little the audience is even shown. Now as for Mr. Whelan - CL couldn't have picked a better presenter to present about presentations. His knowledge and experience reflects in his presentation - he's warm, personable, and if he did rehearse and prepare the way he recommends, it's not noticeable. He's natural and you can relate to every point made. I hope there are other Andrew Whelan courses in the future. I highly recommend CL - as a participant and an audience member - for their variety of course content and bonus materials that I continue to use in my day-to-day. I strongly recommend any class or workshop that includes Andrew Whelan. His advice, experience, and genuine empathetic approach to helping others become better, is invaluable. Thank you Andrew and Thank you Creative Live!

Carolyn Winslow

Thank you! You gave me some fresh ideas to share when I am presenting, and when I'm helping folks be more comfortable when they need to speak in front of others. Good examples, to the point without fluff, and even a bit entertaining. Thanks!

Jack Foxe

This was my first live audience experience, and wow was i shocked how engaged i was! Im someone who has an awful attention span so the fact that i was listening and taking everything in was fantastic. Thanks Andrew for some great tips and making me laugh and thanks to Creative Live for having me in the audience. If anyone who interacts with other people on a regular basis this class is essential!