7 Presentation Tips to Get and Keep the Attention of Your Audience
No matter how knowledgeable you are about you subject, you must be able to share your information in a way that is both informative and entertaining to your audience.
How do you get and keep the attention of your audience?
Most everyone would agree that you need to get the attention of your audience very early in the presentation. So you’ve only got one quick shot at this and then you are toast.
Studies suggest you only have about eight seconds to impress your audience to listen to what you have to say. If you don’t impress them in the first eight seconds, they have tuned you out.
Here are seven tips recommended by the experts to get and keep the attention of your audience.
- Mingle with your audience before the presentation begins
Put up your cell phone and resist the temptation to check Twitter or emails. Instead, talk to some of the people in your audience. If you find out something interesting about someone in the audience, you might use this information at the beginning of your talk to help develop rapport.
- Use fun and interesting words
Steve Jobs is our example here. Speak in a language that everyone can easily understand. Use shorter sentences and simpler words. Do not use jargon or you will miss the opportunity to engage with your audience. They will tune you out early in your presentation.
- Smile and be Enthusiastic
As simple as this sounds, a smile may have more to do with the success of your presentation than you realize. It has been said that a winning smile is more valuable than gold. As Terry Felber states in his book, Am I Making Myself Clear, “Wear success on your face.”
- Keep it short
If you don’t like to speak in public, you are probably liking this tip. Guy Kawasaki, the social media guru and Apple evangelist, recommends no more than ten slides which each slide lasting exactly ten seconds. This gives you a great goal to shoot for. Set the timer on your slides and practice your presentation until you know it backwards and forwards. Practice until you are sick of it, as Guy says in his book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
- Visualize yourself being successful
Zig Ziglar suggests that you think of times when you were successful and replay that event over and over in your mind. Imagine yourself giving a great speech in front of a large audience. See yourself in your mind’s eye as being successful. Do not let self-doubt creep in to your thinking.
I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Ziglar, and he captivated the audience with his enthusiasm.
- Tell your story
Your audience will be more engaged if you tell your own story. Many will be able to relate with your story. They will feel your feelings and share in your frustrations. You will be believable and likable.
- Pique curiosity
Think of examples you can use to pique the curiosity of your audience. According to research by Carnegie Mellon’s George Loewenstein, curiosity is created when there is a gap between what we know and what we want to know. To keep their curiosity you have to slowly leak out information. (A content Marketeers Guide to Creating Curisoty, Hennebury)
One way to increase curiosity is with the title of your presentation. Your title should give enough information to pique the curiosity of your audience so that you can get and keep the attention of your audience.
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