Giving a presentation is enough to make just about anyone nervous and nervous speakers will do anything to avoid interacting directly with the audience. They almost act as if there is a barrier between them and the audience. However, audience interaction is the key to giving a compelling presentation. The best speakers know how to connect with their audience, but this can be quite a challenge for most people. Nonetheless, audience-centered presentations are more dynamic and will captivate the attention of everyone present. It’s time to tear down the wall and build a meaningful rapport with your audience. Here are a few tips for successful audience interaction during your next presentation.
Lead a Q&A Session
One of the easiest and most popular ways to engage your audience is to lead a Q&A session. When it comes to presentations, most of us are used to be talked to rather than having the opportunity to talk ourselves. This can be a great way to open your presentation and ask the audience what they want to get out of the presentation. It can also be used in the middle or at the end of a presentation to give audience members the chance to ask questions about something you spoke about during the presentation. Questions are a great way to open up the floor for discussion and interact with your audience.
Poll Your Audience
What if you could find out what your audience is thinking while you’re giving your presentation? You could use this information to spark discussion or to tweak your presentation as you go. Polling the audience allows you to learn more about them and gives them a chance to share their opinion. You could do this a couple of ways. You could do it by simply asking for a show of hands or you could go with a super tech savvy approach by using a tool called DirectPoll. This tool allows you to create a quick poll that your audience can access from their mobile device. The results can be displayed on the presentation screen and you can use the results to tailor your presentation. A poll is a great way to interact with the audience and show them that you care about their opinions.
Break Into Small Groups
Countless studies have shown that being asked to participate in a presentation makes listeners more interested and engaged. One way to do this is by asking listeners to divide into small groups. People actually enjoy getting the opportunity to talk with those sitting around them and this brings some variety to the presentation. You can give the small groups a few questions to discuss and report or you can also turn it into a game by giving each team a task. Either way, it will capture the attention of your audience while deepening their learning.
Get People Moving
When most people think about attending a presentation, they think about sitting. That’s why incorporating physical activity makes your presentation engaging. Even simple movements like asking for a show of hands or asking audience members to stand up and sit down to show agreement can get audience reenergized. It can even be effective to have people pick up and change seats. For example, you could ask a question such as, “Where would you most like to travel: the beach or the mountains?” and group people together who have the same answer. Find a question that is relative to your presentation and use it as a tool to get audience members moving.
Include Audience Members in Your Presentation
We have all attended a show or concert where a random audience member got pulled on stage to be part of the show. Even if you weren’t the one who was chosen, it was captivating to know that someone just like you was being pulled into the show. It’s interesting, entertaining, and a great way to captivate audiences. Finding a creative way to interact with audience members will make your presentation more dynamic and certainly more memorable.