Of the countless presentations you’ve likely heard, how many have really made you listen? Often, they can sound and look a lot like all the rest. That’s why, if you’re like me, they tend to leave you cold.
So when you present, you risk seeming just like all the other presenters. In which case, people can start to tune out – fast! That is, unless you start strong.
What’s the best way to start strong? Involve people emotionally! To do that, mention their hopes or fears surrounding your topic – while still being professional of course. That engages your audience because they’re drawn in at a gut level. And, it’s so different from the norm!
“We need audiences to feel first, and then to think.” Helio Fred Garcia in Fast Company
Mention their hopes or fears…
I recommend 3 neat ways you can start strong when you present. Choose any 1 of them to open your talk: Continue reading →
If you’ve seen the previous post in this PACE principles series, you’ll know I showed how you can start to engage an audience before you even speak.
To do that, you can make your talk’s title meet these 4 criteria, so it’s:
In this post, you’ll see how to make your whole talk personal – to keep people engaged.
By that I mean using your content to connect with each person in your audience. As people are generally most interested in themselves, one of the best ways you can connect with your audience is to show clearly that you’re focused on them. After you do that, another great way to connect with and therefore engage people is to use genuine emotion.
So, how can you do those things to make your whole talk personal? Well for a start, try these 4 tips, which are arranged roughly from most to least audience-centred: Continue reading →
Certainly, the arrow metaphor fits well with the description you sometimes hear of speeches as “taking your audience from point A to point B”. (Presentation experts like Jerry Weissman often use that phrase.)
Are you serious about wanting to improve your public speaking? If so, do yourself a favour and listen to what Benjamin J Harvey has to say about it. I did that last Wednesday night, and it was probably the best 2 hours I’ve ever spent on improving my presentation skills!
What a great move that was!
Ben’s a Sydney-based entrepreneur who offers occasional free public-speaking workshops. (Wherever you live, you might also like these 5 free public-speaking courses.) As I’m in Sydney too, and his workshop happens just every few months, I took the chance to go along. What a great move that was!
For neat ideas for your next talk’s opening line, here’s a great free resource. It’s a 2-page PDF packed with almost 30 opening lines by Patricia Fripp, CSP – former president of the National Speakers’ Association in the US.
Quotations offer a kind of social proof to support the claims you make in your talk. The well-known people who said each quote make your message more credible. And in boardroom-style presentations in business, well-chosen quotes make your talk stand out and look more professional because so few business presenters use them.
These days, I recommend this 3-part formula for using quotes:
Be shrewd, by which I mean use quotes sparingly, and quote a source your audience admires, like Melinda Gates or Richard Branson.
Keep it short. Typically, the shorter a quote is, the more power it has.
Make it shine. For a “professionally designed” look, put it on a full-screen photo and wrap it in oversized quotation marks, like in the example below:
3-part formula for using a quote in your presentation:
“Be shrewd. Keep it short. Make it shine.” Tweet this
For in-depth tips about using quotes, check out the sections below…
Want to connect more with your audience? And want your talk to stand out and be remembered, too? In this short series of posts, you’ll get many neat tips from expert presenters on using “analog” techniques – that is, without electronics – to help you reach those key goals.
In this post, you’ll see superb use of a prop to make a point far more strongly than a slide alone ever could. The presenter uses a few slides and video clips, certainly, but he doesn’t let them upstage him. That in itself’s a huge takeaway from this talk! Continue reading →