Have you ever experienced giving a talk to a bunch of listeners, and more than half of the presentation, all they seemed to do was tinker their phones, doodle on their notebooks, or wander in their daydreams? It’s one thing to muster the courage to get up on the stage and deliver a speech, but it’s another thing to keep your audience interested — it’s a different kind of challenge! But you know what, fret not. With our years of experience as being communication coaches, we have already gathered a few tricks on how to solve this dilemma.
Let us share it with you through this article.
Craft your slide creatively
Your deck is your best friend during your presentation, so better to make the most out of it. Keep in mind that your slides are not only a guide to you, but to your audiences as well. So make it as appealing as possible while making sure you avoid setting it up as a distraction.
Design it according to your theme and topic. Make it pleasing to the eye, but remember, there’s no need to overuse those sounds and animations. Too much text is boring too, so just save it for your speech. On the other hand, images and videos are great — they keep the interest of the readers in place.
Start with an ice breaker
If you want to engage your audience with your presentation, it is important to pique their interest as soon as you start. But how do you do it? We suggest planning out an epic ice breaker. Whatever emotions you want to draw from your audience — be it confusion, curiosity, or excitement – a well thought-out ice breaker can make it happen. Your ice breaker does not necessarily have to be a game. It can be a joke, a story that tugs in the heart strings, an explosive statement, or a mind-blowing question.
Don’t make your presentation seem like a sermon. Ways like telling relevant stories can keep your talk interesting. Find stories that are relevant to your topic and use these as practical examples. You see, this is also a great way to make sure your audience understand what you’re saying.
Make gestures and pacing
It is understandable how nerve-wracking it is to speak and stand up in front of a crowd. But that shouldn’t hinder you from freely moving around. Because you know what, movements is also a great way to keep your audience engaged. If you feel particularly nervous, use your hands to make gestures rather than appearing rattly in front. Pacing works as well, especially for a huge crowd. Don’t just stand on one side ‘cause it might appear that you’re only engaging to a part of your audience.
Use the right amount of humor
Ever noticed how the most interesting speeches are usually delivered in a humorous kind of way? Because generally, people likes to laugh. Make sure not to sound too serious by injecting just the right amount of humor in your presentation. Be careful not to overdo it though. Your aim is to still able to deliver your point and not get carried away with the fun.
Interact with your audience
This one, we already know too well, but is still as effective as ever. When doing a presentation, don’t forget about your audience. Every once in a while, do something to make sure your listeners are still wide awake, following what you are saying. For small crowds, it is easy to interact — go around and ask questions. For bigger crowds, it may seem a little more challenging. Here’s a tip on how you can still interact even with a larger audience — ask them to repeat certain key terms in your talk.
These are just a few helpful tips that you can use to make sure your audience is engaged until the very last minute of your presentation. If you feel you need a more intensive training on this, our personalized coaching session has a lot more tips in store for you. Check out our courses and learn from the experts themselves! Go to this page to know more.