Here are my 7 tips for polishing your presentations and giving maximum value to your audience:
1. Involve the audience by asking them questions and for their own stories and experiences to support what you are saying. However, only ask a question if you know they will get the answer right! You are not there to test them and a series of wrong answers will take you off-track and begin to irritate.
2. Talk for about 15 minutes at most without audience participation, or you will lose their attention. People always start to perk up if they think they may be asked for a contribution!
3. Use plenty of anecdotes and human interest to engage your audience's imagination. Human beings love stories and they will be more inspired to think about what you are saying.
4. Don't be afraid to repeat important points several times or to allow a pause for something vital to sink in. Even the most quick-witted amongst us welcomes the opportunity to mentally catch up and really appreciate a point before you move on.
5. Use plenty of visuals, whether that be Powerpoint, props or visual imagery. Being able to see or imagine something brings it alive in a fresh and powerful way.
6. You will probably need to speak more slowly, more clearly and more loudly than you would naturally. A normal conversational pace can come across as a gabble in a presentation.
7. And most importantly of all look as though you are enjoying yourself! Moods and emotions are catching, and if you look as though you are happy to be there, talking to them, your audience will be more responsive.
Enjoy putting these tips into practice and you will become a popular presenter!
Andy Britnell specialises in sales and customer service training for the private and public sectors. Go to http://www.andybritnell.co.uk/ and you can sign up for my FREE short monthly newsletter and FREE e-mail coaching.
I coach corporate and SME clients who wish to fulfil more of their potential by thinking and behaving more effectively - see http://www.executive-coaching-for-business-growth.com/