Keeping the audience spellbound during an oral presentation is not an accident, but a well-planned event. While some people seem to be born with these skills and abilities, others know how to acquire what they need and use it to the max. All these people need is the center stage when the opportunity presents itself.
Listed below are seven proven tips that can be used to keep the audience spellbound during any presentation.
Tip #1 – Develop an interesting story line. One of the first things any presenter is tasked with is capturing the audience’s attention. This is not always an easy job, especially if the audience has been sitting for an extended period. Normally, the presenter who gets to the floor first will have an edge over the other presenters, since some people get restless after hearing numerous presenters speak. Which means, the presenter must plan their speech to fit into any time slot (i.e. first speaker, middle speaker or the last speaker). For those who are on the schedule to make their presentations last, capturing a restless audience’s attention is often their biggest challenge.
To rise to this challenge, the presenter can start their presentation with an interesting story to capture the audience’s attention immediately. The story should be directly or indirectly related to the presenter’s topic. For instance, if the presenter’s topic is about increasing a company’s sales, the presenter may start their presentation with a unique story about how CEOs in top companies achieved their success. From earning miniscule profits to making billions of dollars, these stories can be very instrumental in recapturing the audience’s attention.
Tip # 2 – Keep the audience engaged. Once the presenter has captured the audience’s attention with a story line, keeping them engaged is the next challenge. With predominately short attention spans in today’s society, the presenter’s job is to keep the audience engaged throughout.
One of the best ways is to keep an audience engaged is to incorporate creative transitions in specific places. These creative transitions can help with keeping the message fresh throughout. For instance, the presenter may ask comical questions to introduce new subject matter instead of rushing through the presentation without critical breaks.
Tip #3 – Research the topic thoroughly. When the presenter researches their topic thoroughly, they can mesmerize the audience by providing fascinating facts. Even when the presenter does not know what they are talking about, they must present an image of credibility. Using a little historical background information with a few astounding statistics, these audience can be entertained, while also increasing their knowledge in a certain area. For instance, if the individual is talking about guaranteed millionaire tactics, they may provide the audience with the names of high performing stocks. These stocks must perform well in virtually every economy, and they must yield large profit margins (i.e. stocks in a private pharmaceutical company).
Tip #4 – Use humor as an attention grabber. Humor is one of the best ways to get an audience’s attention. People like to be entertained if the humor is done tastefully. Therefore, it is important for the presenter to look for humorous events that they can relate to specific situations. From small jokes to comical stories, these can be used as a great beginning to a presentation or an ending that people will never forget. Whatever the situation, the spellbound presenter can use virtually any angle to make sure everyone in the audience is enthralled.
Tip #5 – Live practice audience. A live practice audience is a great way to get good feedback. Speakers who want their audiences to be fascinated will not leave anything to chance. Consequently, they work tirelessly to ensure everyone in the audience will be captivated by their presentation. This is why some of the most dynamic speakers prefer to rehearse their speech before they give the presentation to their target audience.
By using a live practice audience, the speaker can ask for specific feedback. The feedback that the live practice audience gives may vary widely. However, the information that they provide may cover the content in the speech, the speaker’s tone, audience engagement as well as other related topics. When the presenter reviews the feedback, they can make the necessary changes.
Tips #6 – Encourage the audience to achieve. Some presenters are invited back and they are also sought out by other companies within their industry. One reason for their popularity is their ability to motivate their audiences to achieve. Some companies prefer to develop the talent that they have instead of offering new promotional positions to someone on the outside of their organization. This process is normally called promotions within policies.
To ensure people in the same company can take advantage of these opportunities, they may need additional motivation to succeed. This is one of the main reasons why some presenters are chosen to speak over others. These speakers have the ability to persuade mass audiences to act on their goals and objectives. Therefore, when a presenter is given these opportunities and the topic to match, they should strive to provide encouragement (i.e. address personal and corporate goals). When these presenters keep their audience’s spellbound, they can provoke positive changes in any operation.
Tip # 7 – Encourage participation. The presenter can also begin the oral presentation by getting the audience to participate actively. For instance, the presenter may ask for a volunteer from the audience to perform a specific task. This task can help to introduce a specific point, while also creating a thought-provoking story line that the audience can follow from start to finish. The presenter can also set up a specific scenario (i.e. riddle) that will not be solved until the end of the presentation. Thereby, offering a prize to the person that solves the riddle at the end of the presentation.
Keeping an audience completely engaged throughout a presentation is a skill that most people would pay money for. Even though some presenters are naturally gifted, others can achieve these same outstanding presentations with the right tips, practice and constructive feedback. These tips can help both the novice and seasoned presenter to create and develop great spellbinding presentations.