PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Could you ever be thankful for an antagonist in your audience?

It doesn’t sound likely, does it?  Antagonists are not fun.  They put you on the spot and create an uncomfortable atmosphere.  Given the choice, you would never have one in any group you spoke to.

Antagonists can, however, serve a purpose.  They create an opportunity for you to publicly defend whatever it is that you are proposing.  Defend it well, and you score points with the rest of the audience.  Both you and your message gain credibility.

A successful public defense is particularly good when your audience members expect to face questions themselves if they support you.  Will they be able to face criticism?  Will the case you are giving them hold up under scrutiny?  Watching you successfully mount a defense gives them the confidence to be supportive.

So, should you go out and cultivate antagonists?  No.  But, if you are well prepared when one appears, you can generate some value out of the situation.

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