7 Ways to Make an Audience Listen

Despite your best efforts there’s no avoiding it – so what do you do when you can’t put that presentation off any longer?

When you can no longer delay, procrastinate and excuse your way out of talking in front of a group of colleagues or clients and now that fateful day is fast approaching. It maybe you won’t ever actually enjoy standing up in front of everyone but at least we can make it more tolerable…

Here are 7 tips that will help you manage your anxiety and deliver an effective presentation:

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
You’re already at an advantage if you know and understand your material well. Memorising content isn’t necessary, just make sure you familiarise yourself enough to feel confident. Realistically will know at least a bit more than most of the audience so why not use this to your advantage?

Powerful Opening
Open up with a bang. You want to immediately win over your listeners attention,  setting the tone for the presentation.  Find an amazing statistic, shocking statement or fascinating fact. Or use a powerful visual or image, ask the audience a question, anything that makes them sit up, take notice and want to hear more.

After your opening, give everyone an overview of how you will spend the time and most importantly what they will gain from your presentation. What’s in it for them and why is it important that they listen? Make sure you let them know.

Keep it Simply – Focus on a Few Key Points
Short and succinct will ensure people remember what you’ve said and give you less to worry about. Focus on a few key points in the message you want to get across. The rise in technology has resulted in attention spans getting shorter so the good news is that your audience will appreciate brevity.

Once Upon A Time…

People tend to remember stories better rather than facts, that’s why all the big brands use it in their ads and campaigns, so if you can link your ideas to a relevant story it’s bound to make your presentation more memorable.

Support Ideas with Evidence
It is always important to provide evidence to support your main points. Supporting evidence will help your audience understand your points and will give you a chance to explain them more fully.

And finally…
What did you want your presentation make people do? It’s not generally something we do for fun. Make sure your closing statement or slide leaves a lasting impression on your audience and a positive call to action.

For more presentation skills tips download a Free Guide to Effective Public Speaking.