How to wow your audience
As a presenter, your goal should be to engage your audience, keep their attention, and get them to take action or agree with your point of view.
You are most likely to keep the audience’s attention if you remember that you, not your supporting visuals, are the center of your presentation.
Your delivery style matters.
In order to deliver your presentation with impact, you need to:
1. Be confident
The key to being confident is preparation. After all, if you are not comfortable with your topic and content, then you won’t appear confident on stage.
Time invested at the practice and rehearsal stage pays off.
2. Develop a step-by-step process for your delivery
Follow a clear process for introducing yourself, getting your presentation started and working through each of the topics you need to cover.
Treat your presentation as a journey and guide your audience through it, by consistently letting them know where you are, where you have come from, and where you are going.
At the outset of your presentation, state your purpose and outline the main points you will cover.
When wrapping up your presentation, summarize your content and finish with a clear and memorable conclusion.
3. Use vocal emphasis
In any presentation, there will be certain words and messages that you want your audience to remember, and that you will need to emphasize.
There are a number of techniques that you can use.
For example, to stress an important point, change your tone, volume or pace.
Use silence for impact.
Ask rhetorical questions to “hammer home” your message.
4. Be aware of your body position and movement
From your body position and movement, your audience will form impressions about how comfortable you are making your presentation.
Moving around the stage can be positive and keep the audience engaged; just be sure to move with purpose.
Before you deliver your presentation, work off any nervous energy to avoid giving the audience the wrong impression.
Avoid putting your hands behind your back, in your pockets, or crossing them in front of you.
Each of these things conveys a lack of confidence.
5. Use gestures
In order to give your words extra impact, you can use gestures as you speak.
For example, if you are describing how a department has to be separated into two, you could indicate separation by pushing your hands apart.
When describing the size, quantity or extent of something, add emphasis by expressing “large” or “small” with your hands.
Use your fingers to introduce separate points clearly and sequentially.
Such techniques will give your presentations an extra, visual dimension.
6. Alter your communication style based on your audience
In order to “wow” your audience, you need to present in a way that is appropriate to the occasion.
Should you use formal or informal language and body language?
Should you include plenty of detail or communicate the broad themes only?
Should you smile, or even tell a joke?
You also need to consider your audience’s communication style.
For example, do they relate best to images and graphic representations of ideas?
Are they likely to respond positively to stories and anecdotes?
Would they prefer to read in advance the detail contained in your presentation, or do they prefer to learn on-the-go?
Here are some ways in which you can wow your audience.
What else can you do in order to make your presentation more interesting?
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