Financial Service Industry Professionals Face Hostility More than Those in Other Industries

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When a national survey of professionals across all industries were asked how often they face hostile audiences those working in the Financial Service Industry were found to face hostile audiences most often

Research from the newly released McGraw-Hill book, “Presentations That Change Minds,” has discovered that people in the Financial Service industry face hostile audiences more often than any other field. 13.6% of professionals working in financial services say they deal with hostile audiences while giving persuasive presentations.

According to author Josh Gordon, audiences are most likely to be hostile with proposals that affecty or when a proposal's outcome is unpredictable. Financial service presenters often share proposals with a direct personal impact and, as anyone watching the financial markets knows, outcomes can vary."

In addition, 11.8% of people working in Hi Tech fields reported dealing with hostile audiences, as did 10.4 % of workers in Communications industries. Only 9.4% of people working in Medical fields reported dealing with hostile audiences.

The industries in which presenters are least likely face hostile audiences are Manufacturing where 6.9% of presenters face hostile audiences, and Engineering , where 6.3% report hostility.

According to Gordon, audience hostility is a persuasive opportunity in disguise: "A hostile audience is clearly engaged in what you are presenting. Too often presenters get defensive and try to argue their way out of these situations. Instead, encourage your audience to vent their anger, and while they do so, listen for the deeper feelings driving their hostility. If you can deal with those feelings sympathetically and channel their passion in way beneficial to your goals, you can harness a powerful persuasive force." Gordon concludes, "The hardest audience to persuade is one that is indifferent to your proposal. If they are hostile they are very much involved in what you are sharing."    

This survey was conducted for the book "Presentations that Change Minds" (December 2005 McGraw-Hill.) To request a review copy, ask questions about the survey, or interview the author call Josh Gordon at (718) 802-0488.

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