5 Tips 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 props or slides – are their main focus. People buy people, so your delivery style matters.
We take a look at five essentials:
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. Therefore, the time invested in the practice and rehearsal stage pays off.
Develop a Process
For greater efficiency and impact, 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.
Use Vocal Emphasis and Verbal Techniques
For advanced presentations, there will be certain words and messages that you want your audience to remember. There are several para-verbal techniques that you can use to emphasise these important points:
- Vary your tone of voice and the pace of your delivery this will draw attention to what you are saying
- Use silence for impact
- Ask rhetorical questions to connect the audience to your message
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 because that could convey anxiety to your audience and make a bad impression. Most importantly, avoid putting your hands behind your back, in your pockets, or crossing them in front of you. Each of these things can convey a lack of confidence.
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 divided 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.
For advanced presentations, as well as ensuring your message is logical and credible, you need to connect with your audience and strike the right tone to involve, motivate and gain their support.
These techniques will give your presentations an extra visual dimension that grabs attention so you can hammer your message home.