This is the most commonly asked question get asked when delivering presentation skills training. I guess what people really want to know is how to engage their audience and deliver their material in a way which keeps them listening all the way through. The answer has a number of different layers to it though…so, here goes:
- BEFORE. Before you think about delivery, think about content. If the content is not relevant or valuable to the listener, it doesn’t really matter how well you deliver, it is not going to command full attention and certainly won’t be remembered for very long. Target your preparation so that it is focussed on the needs of the listeners.
- BEGINNING Grab their attention immediately (forget all that ‘hello, thank you for inviting me, my name is’ nonsense) Start with an attention grabbing ‘hook’ which immediately pulls the audience into the session. ( a rhetorical question, a story, a Big Fat Statement or Statistic) ( then you can introduce yourself and/or the session)
- DURING Then there is the delivery itself. Use your VERBALS (choose carefully the words you use and the method of expressing them ie questions, stories, verbal pictures) your VOICE ( tone, volume and pace) and your VISUAL ( body language, using the space in front and to the side of you, hands, facial expression. )
Good luck and let me know how you get on. What ways have you seen people use to keep the audiences’ attention? What sends you to sleep quickest?