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Lesson 3. Know Your Listeners > Research Audience Attitudes - Pg. 13

Know Your Listeners 13 Begin with the WIIFM When should you introduce the WIIFM, or the meaning of the message, in your presentation? At the beginning, along with the central message. Listeners want to know what's in it for them as soon as possible. It's the best way to ensure that they'll pay attention for the rest of the talk. Caution Don't keep the audience in suspense. Always look at your talk from the listeners' perspec- tive. They want to know what's in it for them. You should deliver this information just before your central message or just after it. To introduce the meaning of the message, you might use sentences like these: · This is how the (central message) will affect you. As of next Monday ... · How would you like to make your job easier and more interesting? · These are the ways this will benefit you. This may sound like an unsubtle way to introduce the meaning of the message, but your audience will rarely criticize you for being too clear or too straightforward. Communicate the meaning of the message as directly as possible. Next to the central message, it is the most important part of your presentation. Indeed, a statement about the message's benefits may be even more important than the message itself: It may persuade the audience to support your vision. Tip Give your WIIFM statement impact. Make the meaning of your message as powerful as possible. Remember: The audience will only listen if they think your message relates to them.