Aim: To learn techniques for engaging the audience, adding impact to your presentation and making it memorable.
Most professional presentations are one-way. This saves time, but loses the audience’s attention. Involving the audience intellectually, emotionally, imaginatively and physically can help keep them alert ant attentive – and make your presentation more memorable.
Research shows that audience retention of information after 3 months is:
- 0-5% for a verbal only presentation
- 20-40% for both a verbal and visual presentation
- 40% + for a verbal and visual presentation where the audience is involved.
Here are some techniques that you could use:
Texture and Variety
- Use visual aids: OHP, flip chart, samples
- Use color and style
- Change pacing and timing
- Use body language and modulate the voice
- Tell culturally appropriate anecdotes and jokes
- A promise: ”by the end of my talk you will know the secret of success.”
- Create a conspiratorial atmosphere: ”Not many people know this…”
- Give the sense that this is a special occasion and you have a special message
- Use an exercise or activity which physically involves the audience
- Walk into, around or through the audience
- Do a quiz or test, set a problem solving activity
- Ask open questions with the ”Wh” words
- Ask rhetorical questions
- Poll opinion with a show of hands
- Use ”You” or the inclusive ”we” in a ration of 5:1 with ”I”
- Use the EAT method: Experience, Analyze, Theorize
- Use persuasive language
- Create the ”aha” effect
If culturally appropriate:
- Shock and excite with high impact headlines: ”Sex and Money”
- Behave in an unexpected, unusual, or different way
Question: Can you think of any other creative ways of engaging the audience? Discuss and share them with your group.
Practice: Give a short presentation to the group on your favorite creative tools for engaging an audience.