Have you ever been part of a workshop, meeting, or a seminar where you were bored to death as an audience member? Have you ever come across a speaker who kept attacking you with PPT slides that were utterly cluttered with garbage looking numbers, or where a speaker kept bombarding you with data and reports that sounded alien to you?
On the other hand, have you ever found yourself laughing loudly, taking notes, contemplating, and enjoying your time while someone is up on stage speaking to hundreds of others like you?
Well, largely it depends upon the ability of the speaker to decide the reaction of his or her audience. As there are greater chances for a pilot to get better at flying with more flying hours, the same is the case with on-stage performances. Let’s aim to make every opportunity count. Let’s target to create more fans when our feet are on stage. Let’s start every presentation with a secret side goal of becoming a better presenter.
Here are 5 tips for rocking the stage:
1. Stay Away From The Slide Changer: Always remember the universal truth – your audience is there for you, not for your presentation. In most cases they might not even know the subject/content of your presentation. So, next time you hit the stage, don’t even think about touching the slide changer for the first 3 minutes. Instead use these first 3 minutes to establish your credibility as a speaker. Always remember, you are your presentation.
2. It Just Happened: Make a connection with your audience by asking what happened just before the workshop; understand what your audience just went through. Good or bad, just mentioning it assures your audience that you are one of them. This will raise your credibility to a level that could never be reached by directly introducing your subject powerfully.
3. Start With A Story: The moment we hear someone saying ‘Once upon a time…’ we feel nostalgic. Stories have a spellbound effect on almost all humans. Sharing a story or a personal experience before you start your presentation compels your audience to be all ears. The secret lies in reciting a story appropriately. Put in more efforts and paint a picture to help your audience visualize your story.
4. Get On The Same Page: Eyes on watches, heads moving uncomfortably side to side, forcefully controlled yawns, feet pointing towards the exit gates – these are a few signs to tell you that your audience desperately needs a break. At this point you might still be left with part of your presentation. But instead of ignoring the cues and carrying on with your slides, just stop there and address the restlessness. Tell your audience your agenda and get their approval to move on for a couple more minutes. Make sure to stick to conciseness once you and your audience are on the same page.
5. Silence Please!: Many presenters fear silence. When there is silence for a few minutes, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. It often leads to the most important moment or discussion of the day, if you use it wisely. Silence is not unruly; it is a rather special tool.
It is not about being good in each presentation. It’s all about getting better. Let’s use each opportunity even more wisely. I would love to talk about the next steps to make every stage opportunity count. Connect with us to learn more