Tip 1: Opening: You have 7 seconds for an audience to like you and 35 seconds for them to want to listen to you. Open strong by getting right into the content with maybe a quotation, a question, a profound statement ... something relevant to your content that grabs their immediate attention. Follow with a promise of benefits they will receive from listening to you and adhering to your message. Then give a roadmap of where you are taking them ( i.e. 3 Secrets to Success, or The ABC Guide to Greatness or Winning Ways to..) This is especially important for business presenters and trainers.
Tip 2: Ending: Never ever close with Q&A - it's a recipe for disaster!!!! (someone's question may take them on a different tangent, away from your message) Set some time for Q&A, if you wish, and tell them: "Then I'll close." Always close on YOUR optimistic, hopeful, powerful note with a call to action.
Tip 3: Your content needs to be tight; avoid squeezing too much information in, rambling on and confusing them. Know exactly what you wish your audience to think, feel, say or do differently after you finish speaking. A confused mind says “no” to any suggestion made. Make your points clear, and the take-away message doable.
Tip 4: Try to use humour. When people laugh, they relax, when they relax, they learn, when they learn, they remember. Share your flaws, fears, failures, frustrations and firsts. People don’t like perfect people, they like personable ones, who can laugh at themselves.
Tip 5: Use simple, everyday stories from which you have learned a lesson that may also benefit them. Note: “Facts only tell, but stories Sell!” People are moved to action, not only intellectually but emotionally. Stories that transform fact and figures into flesh and blood stories are the heart of a presentation and make it memorable. Stories are also a great natural way of uncovering ( not adding) humour through your use of relatable characters and their actual dialogue!
Tip 6: Your delivery is your opportunity to make your content come alive, by transforming a one dimensional text into a 3D experience. Please note that sameness is the enemy of the speaker. Vary your voice in pace, projection, pitch, and pause at times so they can reflect on a question, problem or issue. Vary your emotions, movement on the platform, and methodology of delivery. Don't talk AT them but WITH them in a natural, sincere, conversational manner. Touch base with them at times, with possibly a question just like when you're having a conversation with a friend. ie "Does that make sense to you ?" or "How would you have felt in that situation?"
Audiences love speakers who are clear, conversational and personable. They can resonate with those traits which will endear them to you and therefore, connect with you. As a result, an effective communicator is both remembered and repeated.
I invite you to join me again next month when we continue discussing another presentation skill and help you become 3x a speaker you are today!