Presentation Tip - Speaking to the seven dwarfs

Presentation Tip – Speaking to the seven dwarfs

Every member of your audience is different. You can’t treat them the same and expect the same reaction from all of them.

You must be prepared to connect on different levels and receive different reactions to your presentation.

Consider this challenge. Imagine that you are presenting to the seven dwarfs. You might be tempted to think that they are all the same because they are all dwarfs and all working in the same industry. Think again.

Consider these possible very different reactions to your presentation.

Dopey - the youngest, sweetest, and silliest of the seven
Dopey will like you no matter what you do or say – even though he does not understand you. He might ask silly questions or make silly jokes to suggest that he supports you. But he doesn’t have a clue.

Grumpy - the grouchiest and most curmudgeonly of the group
It’s just his way. He is still devoted to the group and the cause but he feels that it is his responsibility to point out the down side of things. He is not going to let you make an easy sale. He will test you and challenge you. No malice intended. It’s the principle.

Doc – he wears glasses (so presumably the most intellectual)
He will listen for the logic of your content. He will not be impressed by your jokes or entertainment. Will listen intently and make some notes. Might even ask some probing questions.

Happy - the most rotund of the dwarfs
He is happy to be anywhere with a group. He will smile, laugh and applaud. Will take few notes. For him this is a gathering and gatherings are to be enjoyed.

Bashful - evokes his bashful nature through a classic pose of shyness (hands clasped behind back, shoulders slightly raised, eyes upturned)
Does not want to be engaged – “Don’t pick me”. He feels safe when in the group but not in front of it. Won’t ask questions, won’t volunteer and prefers not to be centered out.

Sneezy – often sneezing or preparing to do so
Health or allergies causes him to be coughing or sneezing – always at the wrong times. It’s not intentional. It just is.

Sleepy - he wears a perpetually sleepy look
Was he up too late or is he ill. Did he just work a double shift? It doesn’t matter because he is yawning or dozing during your presentation. You might feel insulted by his obvious lack of interest.

So you are presenting and not everyone loves or even likes you. Get over it - you could be presenting to the seven dwarfs.

George Torok

Executive Speech Coach

Presentation Skills Training

Corporate Spokesperson

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