Bring Your Talk To Life
Date: June 6, 2015
In the main an audience wants one of two things when they listen to a speaker. They want to be entertained or to gain knowledge, and if you can give them both then you will be popular speaker indeed.
Public speakers tend to forget that they are essentially entertainers whether facilitating a small group workshop or talking to an audience of hundreds, your job as a speaker is to keep the listeners attention. That doesn’t mean you have to be funny or be some kind of great actor. It simply means you need to be captivating enough to hold the attention of your audience.
When you deliver a talk you want to show your audience that you really enjoy the topic on which you are speaking. You want to convince them that you understand what you are talking about and want them to be excited about it too.
Five Ways to Bring Your Talk to Life.
Smile like you mean it
Audiences tend to mimic the speaker they are listening to. If you deliver your talk with unhappy facial expressions then your audience will probably respond by sitting there with long faces. Smile and they will smile too. Looking our over your notes into a smiling audience will have the added advantage of making you feel you are doing a great job.
Tell short relevant stories
Many people think in pictures and if you can illustrate some of the important points you are making with the odd story here and there then your audience will pay attention. Story telling has been a great way to capture the attention of the listener. Kids love to hear a good story and can learn so much from listening to them. It’s no different for adults. Listening to a story, told well is captivating and inspiring
Project your personality
When you deliver a presentation you want to not only pass on information but deliver it in a way that connects you to the audience. Keep your listeners attention by giving a little of yourself, share your experiences and show them that you are human. Change the tone of your voice when needed during your talk and pause at the right moments so as to emphasise an important point.
Break your talk up into sections
Even if you are giving a talk on a great topic, most people have a reasonably short attention span. One way to overcome this is to have different sections to your talk. An hour long top presented the whole way through in the same manner will lose the attention of many of your listeners. Consider the hour and develop a strategy to keep your audience’s attention. If you intend have a 30 minute slide presentation and then 30 minutes of talking, why not do 10 minutes of visual followed by 10 minutes of talk then and other 10 minutes visual and so on. Keep the sections of your talk short and different.
Deliver your talk as if it was the first time
There are few things worse than listening to a speaker who is delivering a talk parrot fashion. People can tell if you are just repeating a talk you gave last month if you present it in a robotic fashion. Remember this will be the first time the audience have heard it and need to feel it is fresh to you too. Do you think a comedian on stage telling a joke which you find hilarious is telling it for the first time? A good comedian delivers each joke in the performance as if it is the first time they have heard it to. It’s that freshness that makes it funny to the audience. Keep your presentation fresh to both your listeners and to yourself