So much time is spent focusing on how difficult it is to be a good speaker. And I focus a lot of my energy on that topic. But really, to be a good speaker, you need to understand how difficult it is to be a listener.
So let’s see if we can catalog all the challenges of listening to a presentation.
1. It’s hard to sit in once space for a long time without moving.
2. You don’t know what is most important.
3. You’re used to seeing everything presented on television in a highly dramatic way. Presentations aren’t nearly as interesting by comparison.
4. You don’t know where the presentation is going to end up. As a result, you get confused trying to figure that out.
5. You have other things competing for your attention like emails, voice mails, and other work. That’s distracting.
6. You have a question for the speaker that is sticking in your head that won’t go away. That’s distracting.
7. There’s no coffee left. That’s distracting.
8. The kids are not doing well in school. That’s distracting.
9. You don’t like your job. That’s distracting.
10. You don’t understand why you should care.
11. Once the presentation is over, you’re not sure what you’re expected to do next.
12. You’re not having fun.
13. You’re distracted by the speaker’s odd mannerisms.