Avoiding your audience’s autopilot

Our audiences have a lot of bad (or good?) habits that affect us.

When they read a boring headline, the scroll-further habit kicks in.

When they see a PowerPoint deck, the boring-PowerPoint-lets-check-Instagram habit kicks in.

When they read a generic first paragraph of a blog post, the this-is-irrelevant-lets-just-skim-over-it habit kicks in (or maybe even the lets-check-my-phone-and-get-lost-in-social-media-instead routine).

Habits are a big deal because they take over our audience’s brains (more or less) automatically. Once someone experiences a trigger (e.g. the boring headline), the habit kicks in.

The most effective way to avoid this behaviour is to avoid the trigger. And that’s why it matters to a) find trust in your own voice and b) understand what matters to your audience.

If you speak about what matters to your audience in your own distinctive voice, the just-like-everything-else trigger doesn’t fire and so your audience’s attention remains with you.

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There’s the truth. There are lies. And there’s bullshit. To the bullshitter, the appeal of bullshit is that it doesn’t care about true and false.

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Beginning and end

Every presentation starts at the beginning and stops at the end. Unless it doesn’t. Like most presentations. (Yours?) I mean, of course, every presentation starts

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Dr. Michael Gerharz

Dr. Michael Gerharz


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