And Your Point Is?


A recent study found about 75% of audiences check out in the first 60 seconds. Your window for engagement is small – by all means, get to the point.

Part of getting to the point is letting audiences know what you want them to do. While presenters often do this, more often than not, they do it at the end of their talk. We would suggest you do it right up front. Why? Audiences listen differently based on what you want them to do.  Do you need a decision? Do you want input on your plan? Are you seeking $100,000 for a pilot project? Audiences want help knowing how they should evaluate your content. As one leader once said, “If you don’t tell me where you are going, I will question everything.”

  • Before stepping into center stage, clearly identify your call to action. How will the action benefit your audience? What’s in it for them?
  • Work your call to action into your opening and close. Providing it only at the end doesn’t help them know what to do with your information as they hear it.
  • Be straightforward and transparent – don’t make the audience guess what action you want them to take.
  • Frame your presentation around that call to action, or risk diluting your message and losing the audience’s attention.
  • Identify your audience’s barriers to action in advance; work to eliminate them by your presentation’s end.

The mic is on and your 60 seconds start now. Make your audience value their investment by getting right to the point, and clearly communicating a compelling call to action.

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