That’s what a lot of presenters make their audiences do … work. Work to sift through heaps of detail and information. Work to make sense of dense, complex material. Work to follow along. Work to figure out the point …
If you are the presenter, you should do the heavy lifting for your audience. It’ll pay off; the audience will appreciate you, have a good impression of you, and, most important, they will understand and remember what you said!
So here are 3 tips on the kind of “work” you can do so your audience can sit back and absorb, then leave the room satisfied:
Provide guidance. Identify what it is you want your audience to think, know, do, or feel about your presentation. Then weave that into your opening and closing. The mere power of suggestion has a lot of power indeed.
Eliminate waste. Cut out extra detail and information just because it’s interesting to you or because it’s so cool you just have to share it. Be selective with your detail and info. Your audience can digest and retain only so much.
Narrate. Let your audience know where you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re going during the presentation. If you tell them you’re going to cover three main points, let them know when you’ve moved on to the next point. When you’re diverting to a quick sidebar, or you’re backtracking, or you’re stopping to tell a funny story, tell them that’s what you’re doing so they can follow along appropriately.
Audiences don’t want to work. But they do want to get it. If you do the work, you’ll get the reward … your audience’s attention and respect!
Communications Coach at SmartMouth Communications
SmartMouth Founder and Principal Beth Noymer Levine is a Communications Coach who is emerging as one of the country’s leading voices on how to prepare and deliver speeches and presentations that actually work for both the audience and the speaker.
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