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What Do Great Public Speakers Have in Common?

Effective speakers ensure to leave lasting impressions during each presentation. Being a great public speaker means being able to translate your expertise into words understandable enough for your audience to comprehend even if they have very little knowledge on the topic.

Apart from having a well-designed custom PowerPoint presentation, you also need to be confident in the delivery of your pitch. Not everyone has the inherent talent of flawlessly delivering their speech in front of a large audience.

Here are some of the notable traits that effective speakers possess—keep your eyes trained for qualities that are guaranteed to inspire, influence, and make a significant difference on your audience’s lives:

They start strong and end strong.

When the opening is executed right, it immediately engages the audience and all you have to do as the speaker is keep their attention on you for the duration of the presentation. Remember, the first words that spill from your mouth can either make or break your sales pitch.

Apart from this, you also have to end things as strong as your beginning. Pro tip: pattern your presentation akin to a story, wherein it has a beginning, middle, and end. The more memorable your speech is, the greater the chances of memory retention.

They exude confidence.

Even the world’s best orators get nervous, but their strength lies in their ability to conquer their nerves instead of the other way around. Your audience can smell fear and uncertainty—if you show weakness, the less likely it will be to engage and motivate them.

They speak in the audience’s language.

The head of TED, Chris Anderson, shares that the speaker’s primary objective is to build their idea in the minds of their audience. This means it should be communicated in a way that changes someone’s perspective, potentially influencing their actions for the present and the future.

One of his tips included speaking in the audience’s language. This means avoiding the use of industry jargon and instead, using metaphors and information that listeners are more familiar with.

He also recommends practicing in front of friends and have them give their feedback on which parts confuse them the most so that the speaker can improve their presentation.

They mix words with gestures.

Not only is modulating important, but so are mannerisms, as these also make an impact. These help convey your enthusiasm and convictions, putting emphasis on important information.

Most importantly, great speakers connect with their audience—don’t be afraid to make eye contact and ask rhetorical questions. Remember, your listeners should be able to relate with what you’re saying.

They are organized.

When your presentation is structured and is executed with a sound agenda, the more comprehensible it will be for your audience. Experienced speakers make sure that they clarify their objectives before presenting, as this will make the flow easier to follow. Plus, this allows audience members to save their questions for the appropriate sections

Public speaking is not an easy feat, but with practice and these principles in mind, you’ll be on the right track to becoming one of the best speakers out there.

4 Steps for Audience-Focused Professional Presentations

Have you ever attended a presentation where the speaker wouldn’t stop talking? Ever encountered a professor back in college who kept telling irrelevant stories without considering if it would benefit his students? How did they make you feel? Your audience experiences these situations, too.

As a presenter, your goal is to meet their expectations and satisfy their needs, one of which is getting something that’ll benefit them after discussing your message. To achieve this, you need to ask yourself how you’ll develop an audience-focused performance.

Here are some tips to ensure that your professional presentations are focused on your audience:

1. Know Your Audience

Do you have an idea for your pitch but don’t know where to begin? Think of your audience first. Knowing your audience can help you recognize what ideas or stories to tell. This is where planning comes in. Careful preparation requires thorough knowledge about what to include and what to remove, providing your audience with a more meaningful and relevant presentation.

Establishing a more engaging approach captures their interest better, ensuring they aren’t preoccupied with distractions like their smartphone apps. Be familiar with what they want and need so you can easily prepare your script.

In order to gauge what to discuss, research your audience and look up what they know versus what you have to offer. Don’t use difficult language that they won’t understand. If you want to be memorable and efficient, always address your listeners in terms that they’re familiar with.

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2. Identify Your Objectives

Knowing your audience involves finding your presentation’s purpose. Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to accept your ideas? Do you want them to talk about your message with their colleagues?

This lets you know where you’re heading and helps you organize your thoughts, preventing you from confusing your audience. Keep these questions in mind as you prepare the structure of your presentation to serve as a guiding outline when you finally face the crowd.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Your Audience’s Profile

Knowing what language and tone of voice to use will help you in addressing your listeners. Understanding their background, on the other hand, helps you properly manage your script and develop a more effective message that best suit your audience’s concerns.

While it’s essential not to overdo the jargon, it’s also important to offer something new. Figure out what part of your subject matter your audience already knows so you won’t reiterate points they’re already familiar with.

4. Spot the Benefits

Your audience should be the center, the main reason that you’re pitching. If they stop listening to you, you’ve defeated your presentation’s purpose. Your message should be relevant to engage them and bring them satisfaction.

Remember that people aren’t initially interested in how they can help you. They want to know what you can give them. With this thought in mind, always present audience benefits first to pique their interest and keep their attention.

Conclusion

Understanding how an audience-focused approach benefits you and your audience lets you easily capture their attention, leading you to a more effective and engaging performance.

To help you craft a more effective PowerPoint presentation, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

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References

A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 28, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015.
Communication Skills: Persuasion, Audience Analysis.” The Total Communicator. Accessed August 12, 2015.