March 19, 2015 fm

The Only One Listening To You

But sometimes I have to present more serious content where I cannot apply all the stuff we’re doing here. If I only had counted the number of times that someone told me this in the trainings. Dozens and dozens and dozens of times. Driven by everything we cannot do in life, instead of everything we could do. Isn’t it sad?

OK, here’s the situation. You have a meeting. A business meeting. 15 people of your company’s department X get together for the monthly status update. The room smells like work. The air conditioning doesn’t work. One after another connects the computer to the projector. Like every month you quickly starve to death by PowerPoint. One after another falls like a domino.

This is exactly the sort of serious business environment all those comments above refer to. Has it never occurred to you that, when you present, the only one listening to you… is you?

Yes, the others are physically present in the same room. They look like any other audience. They pretend – poorly or worse – that they are attentive. But do you really think they listen to your monotonous tone, your content packed slides and your closed, non-energetic body language?

I get bored after 5 to 15 seconds. My boredom benefits from comparison, comparison with so many other speeches and speakers. But do you really think you are so much different from me?

Once the others are bored, there are many other topics that are much more important than your presentation. Their urgent grocery shopping – much more important. Their children’s upcoming birthday parties – much more important. Their planned proposing to their girl-friends – much more important. And what happens after no time? Always? No one listens to you, but you.

Dear, imperturbable promoter of seriousness in business presentations, I know your opinion is more robust than the building blocks of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Fine, but be aware of the also imperturbable truth that, if you continue to do it your serious way, you’ll continue to be the only one listening to you.

And that, my friend, is a serious decision.

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