Why Your Presentation Should Make Your Audience Uncomfortable

Many people approach a presentation with the goal of making the audience as comfortable as possible so they will enjoy the presentation.  Sounds like a great plan, right?  The problem with this kind of logic is that when an audience becomes too comfortable they tend to lose interest and become easily distracted.  What if you approached your next presentation with a completely different strategy…to make your audience feel uncomfortable? Here are just a few reasons why it might be a good idea to make your audience feel uncomfortable during your presentation.

It Captures Immediate Attention

One of the most important elements in delivering a good presentation is the ability to capture audience attention right from the start.  One way to do this is by describing a difficult or painful issue.  This could be a problem they didn’t realize they had or an ongoing challenge they are faced with, but either way they are holding two contradictory things in their mind at the same time.  They are thinking about the problem as well as what you are telling them about it.  This stirs up a bit of discomfort and captures their attention because they are seeking a solution to fix the problem.  This allows you to move forward with the presentation and propose a solution for them.  By the end of the presentation, you will have replaced that discomfort with harmony.

It Makes Your Presentation Memorable

You have probably attended more than your fair share of presentations but how many of them do you actually remember?  The truth is most of the information you hear in a presentation is forgotten shortly after the presentation is over.  For presenters that know how to utilize the “uncomfortable” strategy, they know that hitting those pain points with their audience will help them to deliver a presentation that is not only more dynamic, but one that audiences will remember as well.

It Taps Into Audience Emotions

It might not be pleasant to sit through a presentation that incorporates uncomfortable images or discusses uncomfortable issues, but the fact is it will make more of an impact.  Talking about these difficult issues is a great way for presenters to tap into their audience’s emotions and tug on their heartstrings a bit more.  People are more likely to adopt your point of view when they are swayed by emotion.

It Makes You More Credible

Many presenters give dull presentations because they would rather play it safe than risk someone in the audience not liking them.  However, the most effective speakers are unapologetically disruptive during presentations.  Don’t be afraid to emphatically explain how your company can better serve customers than your competitors.  Your passion will be contagious and will help you build credibility with the audience.