I was at a luncheon recently and during the structured networking portion I ended up with the speaker in my group. As each person gave their elevator pitch the speaker kept looking away as if she was looking for someone and was clearly not interested in what we all had to say.
Having done some speaking in my life I know the most helpful thing before you speak is to learn about your audience, directly from your audience. Knowing your audience in advance means you can tweak your speech in the moment and make sure your audience gets what they need from you. Listening to your audience when you have the chance means they’re more likely to engage with you during your presentation, and buy your up-sell package at the end of the event.
Not paying attention while you have that chance means I’m writing this blog post while you’re speaking.