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Presentation is not just talking about how to speak, but also the ability to listen to the participants / audience of our presentation. By listening, we know what the other person is talking about, whether they understand our topic and automatically we can adjust our reaction due to their questions/thought.

Imagine if you are attending a health presentation by an expert (let's say doctor/specialist), then following conversation occurs:

     You: "Doctor, I want to ask about one of your points earlier"

     Speaker: "Go ahead, which one?"

     You: "About the heart problem Doc, so I recently felt my heart is often pounding ..." (not yet finish)

     Speaker: "Oh I know that, it has become a common problem it could be an early heart attack"

     You: "Well Doc, actually .."

     Speaker: "Trust me, I'm the expert. It's definitely an early heart attack, hence you should use this X product"

     You: "But Doc, I am not yet finished talking about my complete symptoms .."

Looking at the above conversation, the speaker is not paying attention to listen carefully to audience's question and his advice is very likely to be misdiagnosed. The impact? As audience, you certainly may not trust the given advice because the speaker does not understand completely what you are going to say.

To know the effective listening method, we need to know the mistakes that often occured when listening to our audiences (below some of points as adapted from the popular book 7 Habits by Stephen Covey):

Spacing Out - happens when your mind is focusing on a different topic than the one you are talking/hearing about. This resulted you might respond incorrectly / outside the context of the conversation. Usually occurs when the person is not fit / sleepy / tired, so make sure you are fit and able focus on the topic being discussed.

Pretend Listening - pretends to listen even when you do not understand what is being said. This is usually indicated by a simple response such as "Oh", "Okay", "Good" and so on but from the look on your face does not seem to grasp what the meaning of the conversation. Leave this habit and do not hesitate to ask more details to the other person if you do not understand or just want to make sure your are in the same boat.

Selective Listening - where you only hear what you want to. This is perfectly normal for most people, but DoctorSlide suggests you to minimize the selective listening behaviour and can try to listen to the complete context of the conversation (if audience asked a question that is too complicated, you can try to re-sum up the core of the conversation). The "selective listening" error is usually marked by the response that comes out of the conversation. Example: "Sir, I have a complaint about the errorness in capturing sales rate at supermarket outlets by this apps method" which is continued with the response "Speaking of outlets, we also opened several sales booths in shopping outlets". You can see where the disconnected is, right?

In the other hand, here are some effective listening methods you can apply at the time of presentation:


It would be good to familiarize yourself with not only understanding through the ears, but also reading body language and also processing the context of the conversation with your brain and heart. A research source says communication consists of 7% of words, 40% of intonation and 53% of body language. Certain intonations in your audience when giving out questions can indicate different meanings. Example as in the sentence below (emphasis in the underlined words)

"I think the presentation design is important to increase sales" = focusing on personal thoughts

"I think the presentation design is important to increase sales" = emphasize the design of the presentation

"I think the presentation design is important to increase sales" = aim to increase sales


What do you find when standing in front of the mirror? You will see yourself as you are and apart from all your shadows. Mirroring techniques assume that if you are listening to what your audience is talking about, try to respond by repeating the point of their conversation in your own language. Mirroring technique is also very helpful to ensure the same perception, so you can try to position yourself just like how your counterpart is. Hence what is expressed can be fully understood. Not like a parrot that repeats all the words in its entirely, but you are taught to confirm the core of concepts obtained from a conversation. Examples are as follows:

  • Audience: "I have a problem in the field where all potential customers refuse to try our product because it is considered expensive and has no credibility"
  • You: "You have a challenge to enter the market of your prospectiveconsumers, is it?" (mirroring technique)
  • Audience: "Yes sir, what's the trick to overcome this?"

Make sure you are practicing above 2 methods in your daily communication (even if it isn't a formal presentation). Try to evaluate and listen carefully. Advancing your learning toward the audience and get success. Don't forget to equip yourself with a good presentation design, good luck!

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Disclaimer: this article originated written in Bahasa and being translated using Google Translate hence please understand if there's any mistake of tenses and/or misunderstanding that occurred. Thank you for reading!

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