When Monday morning comes from around the corner, the sudden rush of work can overwhelm you. After a nice, relaxing weekend, having to attend—or hold—your first meeting for the week can be demotivating.
Have you ever felt this way? Chances are, your audience feels the same way, too.
Don’t let vacation blues hinder you from delivering your message. Make your listeners feel at ease as you warm them up for another busy week.
Here are some simple tips to help you hold an effective discussion on a Monday morning:
Aim for Simplicity
Being bombarded with heavy visuals and complex figures are big presentation annoyances that you must avoid, especially on Mondays.
It’s like experiencing traffic on your way to work—it makes you feel dead tired and unproductive when you finally reach the office.
You don’t want to be the reason why your audience had a bad start to their week. Make your PowerPoint slides simple and focus more on discussing and fleshing out your key points.
The “less is more” approach can help you a lot in keeping your presentation simple and organized. This also works in making your message more digestible and engaging in the shortest amount of time possible, especially now that people’s attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds, as noted by Cynthia Price of Entrepreneur.
Tidy up your main ideas and outline your points to know what your presentation will be focusing on.
Keep your introduction brief and include only the vital information that complements your topic.
Avoid plugging in large chunks of data and complicated transitions in your PowerPoint slide. Use slide transitions judiciously to increase visual clarity and improve communication.
Make It Personal
Reinforcing a personal relationship with your audience does a great job in countering Monday madness. Establish a connection with them to build surefire audience involvement.
Ask a simple question, like how they spent their weekends. This lets you to begin conversations and connect with your audience on a personal level. This technique helps you move between sections of your presentation, while maintaining everyone’s interest.
Call them by their first names (such as Mr. John or Ms. Joyce instead of Mr. Burns or Ms. Owens) to make them feel they belong in your presentation. This works especially when you want to create a light yet professional public speaking atmosphere.
Improving your verbal and nonverbal cues such as eye contact, hand gestures, and facial expressions also encourage them to welcome your viewpoints and trust what you say.
Your use of language is also another important aspect in developing a fruitful relationship with your audience. Speak the right words at the right moment to keep them interested throughout your speech.
Shift your focus around the room every now and then to involve as many people as possible in your talk.
Vary your hand movements to add emphasis and help describe events. Try to use open gestures like open palms to symbolize gentleness and portray a friendly image.
Practice showing appropriate facial expressions to convey your passion towards the subject and the audience’s concern.
Inject Some Fun
Most people feel lazy on Mondays. It was even voted as the most hated day of the week in The Escapist’s poll: Worst day of the week.
Call it Monday blues or hangovers, but that’s not an excuse to be less productive, especially at work.
When tasked to deliver a pitch to your colleagues or the executives, injecting some fun helps ease the sluggishness and liven up one’s day. According to Lisa Marshall, host and creator of The Pubic Speaker podcast, incorporating humor in your speech creates an immediate connection between you and your audience.
Besides establishing rapport, it also helps you gain attention in the simplest way. To get everything right, begin your presentation with a smile and your audience will definitely smile back. The positivity needs to start with you, so always keep a smiling face to show them you’re delighted in presenting for them.
Making people laugh is one way to make your presentation more memorable. Crack a joke that fits your message, or insert a funny image or video without going overboard and derailing your discussion.
Another creative way of injecting humor is by poking fun at your mistakes or at your most embarrassing stories. This shows your authenticity and makes the audience feel you’re only human, just like them.
Comic elements will convince and entertain your audience.
At the same time, don’t overdo things just to wake the audience up. Your presentation’s humor should always point back to your key points. The substance of your presentation always comes first. After all, it’s what your audience came for.
Even Monday morning PowerPoint presentations can be interesting, as long as you create an effective pitch that hints at great benefits to share, instead of a sleep-inducing one.
Make your presentation simple enough to understand so that they don’t tune out due to heavy technical terms. The simpler it is, the more memorable it becomes for the audience.
Add a personal touch in your speech. Ask them simple questions about their day and addressing them by their first names instead of their last names.
Inject some fun by sharing dose of positive emotions. Making people feel at ease captivates them even after your talk is over.
Unleash these communication efforts within you and liven up your audiences, no matter how much they hate this day.
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“Involving your audience.” University Leicester. n.d. Accessed May 15, 2015. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/presentations/involve
Marshall, Lisa. “How to Avoid Making Humor Mistakes in Speeches.” Quick and Dirty Tips. December 25, 2009. Accessed May 15, 2015. www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/public-speaking/how-to-avoid-making-humor-mistakes-in-speeches
Price, Cynthia. “The 8-Second Challenge: Email Marketing for Our Shrinking Attention Span.” Entrepreneur. March 18, 2014. Accessed May 15, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/232266
“What day of the week is the worst one?” The Escapist. n.d. Accessed May 15, 2015. www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.84326-Poll-Worst-day-of-the-week