The old axiom about it being a whole new world is true for the art of public speaking and presentations. Forget about starting with a quote or joke and don't struggle with an overused slides to make your points. Here are some fresh ways to keep your audience and yourself engaged in your speech.
Tweet about it. Why not take advantage of this hot avenue. Put out teasers regarding your presentation ahead of time. Up the interest in yourself as a speech maker by sharing quotable nuggets on twitter. Use this online resource again, following your presentation, to thank your audience. Always plug your next speaking engagement.
Know what your audience wants to learn about your subject before you write your speech. Send out a questionnaire to those will attend your presentation. Provide a small incentive for their participation in your survey. This can be a free subscription to your newsletter for a year or raffle ticket for an item you will give away at the end of your seminar. Use the information you receive to provide direction for your presentation.
Make your presentation a collaborative effort. Give your audience something to do besides twiddle their thumbs. Put them in work groups with a challenge based on the subject of your speech. For example, if you are talking about ways people communicate without words, engage them in a game of modified charades to reinforce your points.
Appeal to the human senses to engage your audience. Add music at appropriate times to underscore a pertinent point. Use bold lettering for important points in your handouts and use color in your power point graphs. Bring in a healthy and delicious snack three-fourths of the way through to provide a pick-me-up break for everyone.
Remember, your goal for any presentation is to inform and impact. Use the above strategies to engage your audience so they pay attention to your message.
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