After preparing your speech’s content, it’s time to decide how to deliver your material. Poorly planned ways to grab attention can be detrimental to a presentation. But it’s still important to keep your audience’s tuned in to your every word.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to plan an overall creative performance. Because novelty promotes memory, your message will be memorable if it offers something new to your audience. Keeping them attentive without exaggerating is one of the trickier parts of planning an original presentation.
Here are some tips on establishing rapport:
Don’t Just Speak, Converse
The art of conversation isn’t exclusive to face-to-face interaction. Conversing is also applicable in a group setting, and, according to presentation trainer, Olivia Mitchell, can be more effective than simply talking about your topic. Plenty of speeches tend to be overly formal because the speaker sees the audience as an impersonal body.
Creating a story for your performance outline is one way of dispersing the stiffness of a presentation. But it also goes both ways. Letting your audience feel that you are also interested in their story gives them a sense of importance. Harvard Business Review’s Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind have noted that the conversational tone creates intimacy between speaker and audience, fostering trust and encouraging participation.
Treat your audience like a single person to speak with. Keep in mind that although you’re trying to deliver your pitch to them, you are also communicating on a personal level. Wait for a response or a reaction from your intended listener before moving on to the next point. This makes sure that you’ve gotten your point across.
Keep Up With the Times
Getting to know your audience is important in creating a good presentation. Creating connections during a performance is difficult when you aren’t up to date. Identifying your listeners’ learning preferences and interests is important in deciding how to present your content. People are more inclined to listen to something that’s relevant to them.
Relate to your audience by incorporating a few familiar references in your presentation. This also eases any built up tension at the beginning of your presentation. Build the impression that you‘re a relaxed, approachable, and credible speaker. Aim for that balance with both your verbal presentation and your visual content.
Think outside the box and make the hard facts palatable to your audience by presenting them creatively. Although it’s good to give an interesting performance, never compromise content for the sake of delivery.
Evolve to Involve
Engage your listeners in a different way. Instead of having them passively sit throughout your presentation, let them participate in some of the crucial parts of your presentation. As we’ve already established in earlier points, people appreciate feeling included. Take your presentation outside of just speech and visuals by letting your audience contribute to your performance.
This will also reinforce your central message. If getting your audience to stand seems uncalled for in the given situation, add a bit of humor to avoid monotony. Of course, keep things in moderation. Being too flashy becomes distracting after a time, and disregarding professionalism isn’t the preferable alternative to boring your audience.
Make sure you infuse just enough enthusiasm into your topic to convince them to listen to you.
Adding variety in the way you present is always a breath of fresh air for the seasoned audience. Invest in extra creative effort if you want your message to stand out. Getting to know your audience and conversing with them rather than mechanically offering your pitch ensures your listeners’ attention.
However, learn where to draw the line. Be interesting and original without reducing yourself into a caricature of a speaker. Gaining your audience’s respect is also an important part of presenting. In case you have any trouble reconciling these ideas, asking for help is always an option.
It’s important to keep how you create your presentation in perspective. Unsure on integrating creativity without overstepping your bounds? Seek the advice of a presentation guru.
Mitchell, Olivia. “Conversational Presenting.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed October 7, 2015.www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/delivery/conversational-presenting
Fenker, Daniela and Hartmut Schutze. “Learning By Surprise.” Scientific American Global. Accessed October 7, 2015. www.scientificamerican.com/article/learning-by-surprise
Grossberg, Boris and Michael Slind. “Leadership Is a Conversation.” Harvard Business Review. June 1, 2012. Accessed October 7, 2015. www.hbr.org/2012/06/leadership-is-a-conversation
Featured Image: “Get Creative!” by JD Hancock on flickr.com