Proactively managing audience objections

How often have you had to deliver a presentation where you know that your audience is objecting to parts of your message before you even begin to speak?

Have you noticed that there are often a number of people sitting in your audience feeling cranky about something? These people have some kind of objection and they aren’t going to listen to you properly until you have dealt with their problem. Can you relate to that?

Whether your message is contentious or needs care in delivery or not, it’s a good idea to work out what the objections might be when you are speaking and then plan to manage them in advance. Managing objections brings the objection out in the open, helps you solve the problem as best you can and allows you to continue to control the proceedings. In other words, it assists your audience to move on and be more open minded to your message than they might have been.

What sort of objections can I expect?

People can object to all sorts of things from your content, to something personal about you, to the logistics of the event. Let me give you some specific objections people may be thinking in your presentations:

  • It’s too early in the morning for this.
  • I’m too busy for this.
  • It’s not a priority.
  • I already know this.
  • No budget. No resources.
  • This is not relevant to me.

How do I manage objections?

I recommend that you use a technique that I call POO! It stands for Pacing Out Objections. Here’s how you Pace out Objections…

  1. State the objection
  2. Say ‘and’, ‘so’, or simply pause and say nothing
  3. Then you give your solution

What’s an example of an effective POO statement?

Here is an example for you…

‘Many people feel that a call centre is not necessary for our business. So, my presentation will delve into the pros and cons of a call centre and then we can make an informed decision together.’

Use this technique and notice how much less stressful and more successful your presentations are!