We’ve discussed the advantages of using a conversational tone in a business presentation. Let’s take a closer look at how to achieve it. You might imagine the business world as a big machine that’s spotlessly clean, naturally sleek, and rigidly formal. But embracing its formality makes you sound unapproachable and boring.
When it comes to business, you must sound straightforward yet welcoming for people to truly listen to you. Here are ways to make your business presentation direct and conversational:
Ask Rhetorical Questions
Oftentimes, your listeners have already answered your questions in their heads, making them tune out of your discussion. Asking rhetorical questions actively involves your audience in the discussion, while keeping them focused on the topic at hand.
Planting a question with an obvious answer lets your audience convince themselves as opposed to shoehorning your message into your speech. A listener coming to a conclusion on his own is more swayed than one who had to be painstakingly convinced by a desperate presenter.
Use Conversational Elements
People like being directly addressed. Personal pronouns such as “you,” “I,” “us,” and “we” add an intimate touch to your presenting style.
Listeners also prefer listening to a human over a robot. Contractions like “I’ve,” “you’re,” and “we’ll” make you sound like you’re speaking with friends or relatives, giving a personal and animated connection between you and your audience.
Use Active Verbs
The active voice makes a sentence more lively and dynamic. Compared to the passive voice (“This next part is important and should be listened to closely.”), the active voice focuses on the doer of the action (“Listen closely to the next important part.”). This contributes to a more involved and engaged audience that both listens and acts.
The passive voice has many literary uses, but the active voice should dominate your language, especially in business presentations. You have a limited amount of time to get the point across. Choose your words wisely.
Using direct speech makes you sound more relatable and appealing. This tunes your audience into your speech, and make them pay closer attention to your words.
Business presentations don’t require an all-out business tone. Your audience may be well-dressed, but you’re still talking to a living, breathing group of people. Sound direct and conversational to make them feel they belong in the discussion. Once they feel like they’re involved, they’re more likely to listen and give your proposal a shot.
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“Rhetorical Question – Examples and Definition.” Literary Devices. October 25, 2013. Accessed January 11, 2016.
“Voice: ACTIVE / PASSIVE VOICE.” Towson. Accessed January 11, 2016.