You may have envisioned yourself delivering a powerful presentation that leaves the audience laughing, cheering, and standing to applaud you. Then, much to your dismay, you find that the audience doesn’t exactly give you the reaction you had hoped for. Unfortunately, not all audiences exude positive energy and the truth is they will judge you from the moment you step on stage. This can leave you feeling vulnerable and anxious and for some people can be very intimidating. The good news is there are techniques you can use to help you win over even the toughest audiences. Consider these ideas for delivering a dynamic presentation that is sure to engage any audience.
Be Genuine and Authentic
Winning over an audience is not just about what you say. The key to winning over an audience is just as much about how you act. You want to make sure you appear confident but you also want to seem approachable. The best thing you can do is to just be yourself. Audiences engage more with a speaker who is relatable. When you get on their level and speak to them genuinely, your audience will respect your authenticity.
Start Your Presentation with Something Engaging
They say you only have a matter of minutes to make a good first impression. Don’t waste this valuable time beginning with something like “Thank you so much for coming” or “I promise I’ll make this quick.” These opening lines will only bore your audience and remind them of why they don’t want to be there. Those first few minutes is your time to shine so start your presentation with something powerful and memorable.
Use an Attention Grabber
The beginning of your presentation is also a great time to capture your audience’s attention. You can do this in a number of ways beginning with asking a provocative question. These kinds of questions draw your audience in and force them to think about what you are saying. You can also grab their attention with a shocking fact or statistic. Another great way to engage your audience is to tell a story or a funny joke. Finally, you can get their attention with an amazing image that will evoke emotion and help to explain your point.
Get to the Point
Nothing is more frustrating to an audience than someone who is meandering all over the place instead of delivering relevant information. Remember that your audience’s time is valuable so it’s your job to present clear information in a timely manner. Only tell stories that are relevant and that help to further explain your message. Avoid irrelevant details that don’t help you to achieve your overall goal.
Make Them Feel Something
Whether your presentation is designed to inform, educate, or entertain, your number one goal should be to make the audience feel something. You need to connect with them on an emotional level and use this opportunity to tug at their heartstrings. You can do this by telling powerful stories or using anecdotes, metaphors, and images to provoke thought. You don’t want them just listening in their seats…you want them acknowledging your words and feeling your message.