Amaze your Audience

If you ask public speakers what the goal of their presentation is, many – if not most – would say it’s to make sure their message lands with the audience. While this is undoubtedly true, they might forget to mention their other goals: to entertain, inform and inspire their audience to take action.

Amazing your audience isn’t easy, but it’s possible if you use the following presentation tips.

1) Emotionally Connect with Your Audience

Here’s something executives on Madison Avenue have known for years: people think emotionally, and justify logically. This is why those big, flashy TV commercials always hook the audience with emotion, then trot out the features at the end.

You see an ad for a minivan where a dad is driving his daughter to her recital and it touches you. You want to buy the minivan – you’ve made an emotional choice and you will back it up logically by saying that the vehicle is rated top safety, has good gas mileage and excellent horse power.

Connect with your audience emotionally at the very beginning of your presentation. This could be by telling a joke or sharing a personal story they can relate to. Once you’ve hooked them, you’ve already sold them on YOU, and now they will happily listen to your message and buy into it as well.

2) Appeal to Your Listener’s Self-Interests

Here’s a fact you may or may not know: Many of your audience members are not at your seminar or lecture because they want to be there – they are there because they had no choice. These people can still be amazed by you, however.

The truth is, once someone knows that they can learn something that will help them personally, not just help the company they work for, they are much more apt to sit up and pay full attention.

This is why you’ve got to understand who your audience is. What are their pain points? What keeps them up at night? How can you add real value to their lives? If you can figure that out, you can get even the most bored, cynical audience member eating out of your hand.

3) Tell Them Exactly What They’ll Gain by Listening to You

Now that you’ve figured out how to appeal to your audience’s self-interests, don’t be shy about it, announce it loud and clear. Convey at the beginning of your presentation what your listeners will gain from your talk: greater success or prestige, more money or time with their family. If you do, they will tune in and listen.

4) Be a Storyteller

The best speakers, by far, are the ones that tell stories. Human beings are hardwired to listen to stories. It’s like it’s in our DNA.

What kind of stories should you tell?

Personal stories are always good, but you can also tell someone else’s story. You can simply say, “I heard a story the other day,” Or “Let me tell you a story I recently heard that really moved me.” The minute you even mention the word “story,” the audience comes alive and listens to your every word. No matter how old we are or how important our job titles are, in a way we’re still 5-years-old sitting Indian-style at story time enthralled by what the adult holding the big picture book is saying.

If you want to know how to tell a good story, listen to some of the most popular Ted Talk presenters, who are masters at storytelling.

5) Pause

It has been said there is a lot of power in the pause, and those who have said it have been absolutely right!

Do you know what happens when you purposefully pause? People lean forward in their seats, wondering what you’re going to say. They have GOT to know what you’re going to say.

If you haven’t practiced using pauses in your speech, start now and see if you don’t get amazing results.

6) Move Around

Whether you’re on a stage or standing in the front of the room, be sure to make the most use of the space you have. Standing still behind a podium and never moving will bore your audience to tears. But, when you stimulate their eyes as well as their ears, they are more engaged and will pay better attention to your message.

7) Make Eye Contact

Your audience knows whether you’re looking AT them, or just above their heads. One of the quickest ways to lose your audience is to never look them in the eyes. Always scan the faces of your listeners when you speak. Hold on one person’s gaze before moving on to the next one. Never stare at your notes or PPT slides, always look out at the people whose lives you could touch.

If you follow these 7 tips, you will absolutely be able to amaze your audience at your next presentation.