3 Ways to Keep Your Audience’s Attention
By Vincent Ivan Phipps
Stop boring your audiences with dull presentations. Great content can be diminished by poor delivery. It is your responsibility as the speaker to ensure your content and presentation are attention worthy!
Whether you are speaking to a group of your peers at a conference, leading an employee meeting, or instructing a group tour, these three techniques will keep your listeners engaged:
Use storytelling. Behavioral science tells us that 68 percent of the population wants a personal and emotional connection with your message. At the beginning of your presentation, share with your audience why you personally feel invested and what motivates you to support your company or vision. In addition:
- Keep stories short.
- Make sure the story is relevant.
- Practice going into and exiting the story.
Ask questions. People love to feel smart! Help them feel more intelligent by incorporating questions throughout your presentations. Allow discussion time if an answer deviates off your topic. When people are talking about your topic, they are engaged with your message. Make sure you:
- Avoid questions with only yes and no answers.
- Use thought-provoking questions such as, “What would you do if…” and “How can we improve…”?
- Keep your questions straightforward.
Customize content. Adapt your message to your listeners. Research your audience’s industry. Learn some of their buzz words. Incorporate their message to your purpose. Modify your demographic terms when necessary so that instead of saying clients, you might say “members,” “staff,” or “team.” Look and sound like an expert by:
- Reading up on current trends.
- Asking questions and finding answers from potential attendees before your presentation.
- Using organizational or industry phrases.
By practicing these three approaches to presentations, you will see your audiences smiling back at you more and looking less at their phones and watches!
Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is the owner and CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of Communication VIP Training and Coaching. He specializes in motivational keynotes, interactive workshops, and individual coaching. Phipps is a speaker at ABA’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Marketplace in Charlotte, N.C. For more information, visit www.noums.com.