Easy assignment: “We’re looking for a little fun. Come motivate our people.” Tough assignment: “We have a challenge. We’d like you
to alter a deep-rooted behavior in our people.”
Any presentation that addresses a negative hurdle can be tricky.
It’s most difficult when the hurdle is a behavior of the audience itself,
such as, “Our people are too scared to take risks. Come and change
Whom do you please in such a case? The management who hired
you? Or the audience?
There is an art to doing both tactfully. A lecturing, “toe-the-line”
talk will tend to feel like an ambush to your audience. If it’s obvious
that management has paid you to say it, it won’t work.
Yet done correctly, it can work. It works precisely because you
are an independent outsider. It’s the same dynamic as your child
rejecting your advice, yet lapping up the same ideas from a friend.
So how do you serve both managers and audience members? Let’s
start with the latter.
PLEASING YOUR AUDIENCE
Lectures are out. Anything even vaguely preachy will confirm their
suspicion that you are repeating spiked management mantras. Make
Whom should a speaker please when
there are two audiences in the room?
BY DOUGLAS KRUGER, CSP