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Top guaranteed way to turn any audience off

March 13, 2024

‘I’m going to start with this beautiful film,’ a presenter informs the audience.
The killer in this sentence is the word beautiful.

The minute you use an adjective* to describe something your audience is going to experience:

• You’re creating an expectation that may not be met because everyone has different notions of what defines beauty.

• The churlish people in the audience (and yes, there will always be a couple), half-risen hackles will spring to attention

• And most people want to make up their own minds. They don’t want to be told what to think or feel

A more inclusive way of presenting the film would be to say, ‘I want to share this film. I then invite your comments and observations’.

Your audience will probably find the film beautiful. (If you have good taste, I’m sure you do!).

This sounds like a subtle play on words, but it’s powerful. This change ensures that the experience is beautiful. Not because you said so, but because your audience discovered it for themselves.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

*What could work is using a qualifier like time – ‘A short film or a 30-second film’.

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