People notice change. You notice the hum of the air-conditioner when it comes on and when it goes off – but not in between. So change will get attention in your presentations as well.
Change what the audience sees of you and your environment.
Change your stance and gestures.
Change your position and location to emphasis a point.
Change the type of visual aids you are using – maybe from flip chart to object to slides.
Introduce a video clip into your presentation.
Make sure your slides do not follow a template.
Introduce something very different or unexpected.
Change the way you present. Use silence and pauses. Change your tone of voice and your speaking volume. All of these will match what you are trying to deliver – facts, stories, data, persuasion, all require different presentation styles, but the change caused by this will also keep attention.
Change your material.
Signpost changes, or new points you are making by using a sentence or a word, and a gesture, that heralds something new. This regains audience attention as well as whetting their appetite for more. Change topics.
Change the state of the audience. Have them move into groups to discuss a concept or share ideas about a topic. Change later to simply discussing with a neighbour.
Ask questions. Have them raise their hands to answer. This changes their physical state and allows a change in mental attention as well. Get them moving in some other way.
Changes in your presentation, in your presentation style and in the audience’s own physical, emotional and mental states will keep their attention focussed and re-focussed.
(c) Bronwyn Richie
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Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, a writer, and an award-winning speaker and trainer.
She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk , a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. Boost your speaking success, click here for Bronwyn’s FREE 30 speaking tips. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com
The clothes you wear when you present … what do they say about you? Yes I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we do. Everyone does. Audiences do. So what do your clothes say about you? Is that the message you wanted them to convey? The message the audience gets from your clothes needs to support the impact you want to make.
On the other hand, are your clothes making their own statement? Do they stand out so much that they are more interesting than your words or message?
Consider the thought that you are respecting your audience if you dress at least at their level and perhaps a level above.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before. So if you have been hiding under a rock for the last year or so and have missed this – it’s a great read – Jobs and Gallo are both speakers we can all model….
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
“The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs reveals the operating system behind any great presentation and provides you with a quick-start guide to design your own passionate interfaces with your audiences.” Cliff Atkinson, author of Beyond Bullet Points and The Activist Audience => http://bit.ly/14Kp90g