Have you tried listening to a lengthy presentation where you simply sit, doing your best to be attentive? It is quite difficult, more so when the talk, aside from being long, does not connect with you as an audience. You start to become bored and lose interest that you fail to follow and miss out on important information. This could be avoided by knowing how you can involve your audience when it is your turn to talk.
The success of a presentation often involves not only great delivery of the topic but how the audience participates. It should not be a one-way-traffic but more like a direct exchange of dialogue between the speaker and the audience. This begins with a presentation that is meaningful and beneficial. How involved the listeners become means a great rapport is created but why is this important? Read on and find out why and how you can keep your audience involved during a presentation.
Create an Interesting Presentation
What your audience already knows wont’ interest them hence the topic should be not only interesting by itself but something that they would want to know and find out. If it is something they already know, you can plan to make the presentation as a motivating reinforcement. Incorporate new but helpful information. For example, in a talk among busy parents who have problems raising teenagers, discuss how they can use their own experience, their mistakes included, and turn that from negative to positive. Cite examples they can perfectly relate to, anything that can strengthen their present understanding.
Along with an interesting topic is how you initiate the interaction between you and your audience so that you keep them actively glued.
Let your audience know that you are open to “questions and answers” and when might you let this happen within the presentation. If you are okay with questions as you go along or if you prefer being asked towards the end.
Provoke your audience’s thoughts and encourage them to share these thoughts. This will tell you how well they are involved in the discussion. This is also an indication if your audience is ready to move to the next point.
Tell your audience to write down anything they feel like digging deeper into for further explanation/information. You may want to let them know how this will be done. It can be at the end of the talk or at some arranged future time. This will make them attentive to what you might have to say.
Read Also: Choosing an Audience Response Company
Deliver it Clearly
There may be some speakers you admire yourself because of the way they deliver their speech. You can implement the same ways of delivering your talk so that you keep your audience wanting to hear more.
Effective use of the right words
How do you find speakers who use words that are too formal you can hardly relate? How about those who sound so casual that you question their credibility? You see, how you talk to your audience matters. You can’t expect an audience consisting of car dealers to understand construction engineering jargons, can you? It is essential to know how your audience talks so present to them in a language they can understand.
Don’t sound too official or absolutely easy. Simplicity is the key but it has to have the right blend.
Avoid being too academic; rather use a conversational tone.
Maintain a natural speech pattern.
Find ways to express a complex matter so that your audience can clearly understand. This may be challenging especially if your topic is something technical in nature but how you word it may depend on your audience in particular.
Maintain proper position and posture
Any audience is bound to respond well to a speaker who radiates enthusiasm and positive energy and this begins with the right posture, position and gestures that should be maintained throughout the presentation.
Let your audience know they are important by allowing them to develop a bond with you starting with standing not too far away from them. Still, it is important to keep a bit of a distance to maintain that air of presenter who is about to share an important information.
If you must sit during the talk, never sit too relaxed or slump in the chair. This will give an impression of being unenergetic and they might lose interest.
Whether standing or sitting, keep an upright posture, using your arms and hands to emphasize some important points every now and then.
Avoid putting your hands at length in your pockets as this obstructs how you effectively deliver your talk.
Use your space to get your audience’s attention focused on you. If possible, walk a certain distance towards your audience’s direction then back to the center.
Use your eyes
Do you feel the sincerity of the person you are talking to when they look at you eye to eye? That is the power of eye contact. Use it well and it can be an effective tool in getting your audience’s attention.
Appear in control by not avoiding using your eyes to look at your audience but limit eye contact so that you don’t seem intimidating.
Scan all the members of your audience by looking at each section, possibly making an eye contact now and then to one or two of them.
If you uncomfortable, look at a person’s forehead than doing a direct eye contact.
Don’t limit your eye contact to familiar faces only but involve the whole audience. Remember your aim is to get them all involved in your talk.
Work the Entirety of the Talk Venue
You may have mastered the art of using the right words, making eye contact and proper posture but if you don’t work the entire area, you may be leaving out some members of your audience.
Communicate your presentation to the entirety of the area where you are presenting. Speak in a voice loud enough to be heard even by the person seated at the back.
Avoid burying your eyes in a script if you must read one. Communicating with an audience requires that you glance at them periodically when reading something.
Convey energy and enthusiasm by using a body language that reaches out to every corner of the room but don’t exaggerate your movements.
When you are able to stimulate your audience’s thoughts and understanding, you can be sure to have their attention. The way to effectively involve them relies on how much you are able to master the art of being a good presenter and the approaches suggested above can help you achieve that. Effective communication is the key to great understanding and if you can communicate effectively, you can be sure to attract an audience that wants to be deeply involved.
Call our South Florida based Audience Response System Specialist to talk more about how you can increase your presentations worth Ph: 561-687-8667