Are you an aggressive presenter?

The aggressive presenter never actually physically hits his audience, but by the time he’s finished speaking they feel like they have been 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

You might have experienced an aggressive speaker yourself. Their natural habitat is the hard sales environment, taking your objections one by one and crushing them in front of the assembled group.

The aggressive presentation style is characterised by

  • Booming statements
  • ‘Trick’ rhetorical questions designed to fool the audience into giving the wrong answer so that the presenter can demonstrate their expertise
  • Statements that use such assertive language that the audience is scared to question their validity
  • Points made and reiterated so many times that the audience can no longer be bothered to question them
  • Laughter and derision from the presenter should the audience ask a question that is ‘silly’ or ‘obvious’

This is not to say that there is no place for the aggressive speaker in this world. If the aggressive speaker failed to make sales, or convert at least a very few, then they surely would have died a death by now.

Mike TysonThe aggressive speaker will always point you to the few who buy as signs of their effectiveness, but how many leave the room disheartened, downtrodden and destroyed as well? These ‘unconverted’ dare not speak up for fear of booming reprisals from the aggressive speaker and so go uncounted in the success statistics of the speaker.

The evolution of the aggressive sales presenter is surely due. A presenter that can switch from aggressive to passive depending on the audience reaction, or even ,to suit individual points within the presentation.

Anyone with confidence can present aggressively. Real speaking skill, and effectiveness, comes from tailoring your delivery to suit your audience.

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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