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5 Reasons Why I’m Not Listening to You When You Speak


5 Reasons Why I'm Not Listening to You When You Speak

It’s not about what you are saying; it’s about the experience I have when your words hit me.

Why don’t I listen?

1. Your message is irrelevant to me; I don’t particularly CARE about your topic. 

People listen when your topic stimulates their emotions; when they FEEL your words. You might love your subject because you think it is intellectually interesting, but if it doesn’t touch me in an emotional way I tune you out. 
You didn’t do your homework on what I want to hear. Your topic choice will either make or break my response.

2. You are like every other speaker who came before you

There is nothing particularly special about your “performance” (and it IS a performance). There is nothing endearing about you; if I close my eyes you could be anyone; you are forgettable because you don’t stand-out from the “speaker herd”. 
You look, talk and perform like every other speaker before you. You’re insipid and boring.

3. You are a “stiff” on stage

Your stage presence is too formal and you exhibit no free-styling ability. You are monotonic and frigid in your delivery. You are chained to the podium or some other device which protects you from the audience “hordes”. 
You appear to have no energy and passion for your topic. You appear to be anxiously awaiting the end of your ordeal. I feel uncomfortable for you and wonder why you do what you appear not to enjoy.

Related: Don’t MAKE the List … DO the List

4. Your message doesn’t “flow from your veins”.

It doesn’t have a natural expression that exudes confidence from me. I don’t feel comfortable that you really know your material and that you are sold on it. You appear to be sharing someone else’s message as opposed to your own personal convictions.

5. You’ve obviously never been criticized for speaking too loudly

“Volume of voice” is a strength possessed by awesome speakers. They project themselves in the room so well they sometimes are criticized for shouting. Of course their passion and exuberance over their material are misunderstood by some as overbearing; but that can be forgiven. 
Your timidity mask unfortunately dilutes your stage presence and prevents me from truly engaging with you.

Making a positive impact on me is all about establishing an emotional bond between you and I in the little time we have together.

Your challenge is to deliver a superlative performance and leave me wanting more.

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