By Ellen Egan
If you are not yet comfortable with public speaking (or love public speaking) and want to:
- decrease the amount of time you have to talk
- increase the amount of fun you have
- increase the amount of understanding your audience retains from your presentation
- increase the likelihood of a positive appraisal of your presentation
- and loads of other positive things….
then, include a section in your presentation for audience interaction.
Get your audinece involved.
Check out this video with Bobby McFerrin and notice how little talking he does, how much interaction he gets from the audience and how much fun everyone has. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne6tB2KiZuk
OK. So, sure that looks easy for Bobby. But, how do I apply this to my situation?
1. As you are writing the outline for your presentation, look for areas where you can include audience interaction.
2. Ask questions of your audinece during the presentation. (e.g. how many of us have had this experience?) Note: please try to frame questions as “us” or “we”, so that the audience understands that you are on their side – rather than separating yourself from them.
3. As always, find out as much as you can about your audience before your presentation so that you can understand their needs. Once you understand their needs and perspective it will be easier to craft an interactive session that will help them to achieve their goals fromt he presentation.
4. The key to the interactive session is to make sure that it helps the audience to move along the path towards their goals. If the interactive session is framed this way, then you will get a positive audience response. If it is framed as clearly only helping you achieve your goals, you will get less (or no ) participation.
5. Try to find something that people can laugh about. If the interactive session will bring out a laugh or two you are more likely to get a positive response, and it will help the overall outcome of your presentation.
6. Watch as many presentations as you can and model the people that you feel do a good job with bringing interaction into their presentation.
The more interactivity you have with your audience, the greater likelihood of success of your presentation – that is really the bottom line. The fact that it also make it way more fun for you and for them is really the cherry on top of the cake.
To your success,