Many of you may have experienced a business presentation at one time or another. It may have been intriguing but most of the time they can lack substance and be difficult to follow. No one is intentionally at fault in this situation; they may just not know how to change the outcome. Learning about audience centered presenting can change the outlook, not only for upcoming presentations, but also for the overall effectiveness of the message that the company is trying to portray.
When presenting in front of a large group of people, or even when putting a presentation together, it is very important to remain on topic. It is simple, especially when you are speaking, to get off on a tangent and potentially lose your listeners. Speaking about topics that are interesting or presenting them in an interesting manner will keep listeners intrigued and wanting to pay attention. An audience goes into a presentation with one thing on their mind and that is what they should be getting out of the presentation.This approach should be the same approach that the presenter takes when presenting. Focusing on the audience and not about yourself or experiences will ensure a better grasp on the presentation content.
Start With a Bang!
The need for public speakers and presenters continues to grow as businesses continue to grow. Specialized speakers bureaus like JLA speakers and Brooks are facing tremendous growth in the demand for public speakers. The issue most face is finding good, solid presenters. Each presentation needs to be captivating from the get go. If you have not captured everyone’s attention within the first ten minutes of a presentation, you could certainly be on a quickly sinking ship.
Naturally, the human brain will lose interest in something if nothing grabs its attention quickly. You can thank your reptilian brain for that. The beginning of the presentation should start off exciting, with music, colors or an approach that is new and exciting.
Benefits of Being Audience Centered
Focusing on the audience is more powerful than just standing and flipping through your slide show with a red laser pointer. It opens up communication and builds rapport between the audience and presenter. Rather than just sitting and listening to a presentation, the audience can actually feel that they are a part of the presentation itself. It is similar to hands on training; some people will improve and grasp onto topics better if they can physically be a part of the learning. An audience will respond in a more positive manner if they feel more catered to.
If a presentation is more relevant to the audience, they will be more accepting of looking over research and business matters because they are coming across in a different manner. Utilizing an audience-centered approach will also show people that you genuinely have their best interest at heart and are trying to help them understand everything being presented.
Asking the audience engages them in social activity. They are not afforded the opportunity to sit there are doze off or doodle on their notebook. If you, as a presenter, are making contact with each individual and speaking to them personally, you will be able to find out information about them and what concerns they may have. It opens up a pathway for feedback going in both directions as well. Another great way to keep the presentation audience centered is to break them off into little groups. Play a quick icebreaker game or have them write some questions down about the other members. They may find that they have many of the same concerns surrounding the work environment and presentation topic. This will make the audience feel at ease with their peers.
As a presenter, emotions and confidence will go a long way with an audience. You do not want to spend a superfluous amount of time getting to know everyone and proving how much you care just to throw it away by a strong reaction. An audience usually reacts to your reactions, if something catches you off guard, be prepared! The presenter should be extremely confident in the information being presented and genuine in the relationships that he or she is building.
Speaking and presenting anything in front of a large group of people is difficult in the beginning. It does in fact get easier over time. Utilizing an audience-centered approach may actually ease the fears of the presenter as well as the audience. Humans as a whole like to learn new things; they are curious creatures. Rather than standing in front of a group of people for an hour or two and speak in a monotone voice, come up with a creative way to get everyone involved. The information retention levels will skyrocket and the presentation will be more successful.