by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia
Recently, when I was speaking at a conference, I watched two presenters get their butts handed to them by the women in the audience.
Both speakers suffered from two major speaking no-nos:
- They didn't take the time to learn their audience, and;
- They clearly didn't know what it meant to speak to women who were clear about what they wanted to know.
It's been my experience that in an audience full of men, if they don't think you're a great presenter, you really won't know it...they'll just never ask you to speak again. They might blog about your "worst in show" performance, but they'll rarely tell you to your face.
Back to the conference...
The first presenter (an accounting expert) made the deadly mistake of telling the women in the audience that what he (yes, HE) was saying was mere "common sense". To which, one of the women replied, "Well, it's not common sense to us, that's why you're here." Ouch.
The second presenter (a marketing expert) made some marketing suggestions that were clearly not a fit for the audience. Afterward, the speaker asked to be invited back again and was met with the resounding sound of crickets. That had to hurt.
To be successful in speaking to groups - especially women - is understanding that we know what we want and we're not afraid to ask for it -- even in a conference setting.
Afterward, many of the women attendees kept saying that they paid too much to attend the conference to get "slck answers from so-called experts". Sizzle.
Yessir, we know what we want. It doesn't mean we won't change our minds, though. :)