Cultivate empathy with your audience

What do the sparkling faces looking adoringly at you really want from you?


Your product or service?


Ice cream? (Maybe if it’s Chubby Hubby)

As I’ve been digging in with speakers from all around the world during my free 15-minute Presentation Challenge Sessions (grab one – there’s still a few left), there’s one topic that keeps coming up over and over again.

The biggest presentation challenge is The Audience!

It goes like this: You’ve got a great message, but your audience is NOT open to hearing it.

What’s the remedy?


You must (a non-negotiable must) empathize with how your audience feels. What emotions are they bringing into your presentation? How do they feel about your topic?

Recently, I saw a super talented speaker who was going to be giving a presentations to new moms. During her rehearsal, she bombard us with information about what new moms should do to teach baby boundaries and take control of their space.

I’m not a mom. I don’t play a mom on TV, but I know enough new moms to know that they feel:

  • overwhelmed
  • deleriously joyful
  • extremely exhaust
  • terrified that they are going to break the new baby

I also knew the first question from a savvy mom would be “You don’t have kids, do you?”

While the information was excellent, the speaker showed zero empathy for all the emotions parenthood brings. New moms aren’t ready to expand their to-do list. They are ready to find a moment to themselves to grab a bowl of ice cream.

It’s paramount that you understand the intersection between your audience’s emotions and your information.

It’s not about facts, figures, statistics and beating them with the logic stick. It’s about understanding what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

When people feel heard and understood, they are a heck of a lot more likely to listen because they feel a connection to you. You’ve got their back, and that’s what they are going to love about you!

What are you going to do to develop more empathy for your audience? Let me know in the comments below.