When you create your introduction, do you consider your audience in your opening remarks? Do you tailor your material around their needs as you ‘cast the net’ to become more intimate with them?
Part of your success as a speaker is to treat your audience as if you were talking to a group of people in your living room. By keeping your approach conversational – something I constantly stress in my articles as well as in teaching presentation skills – you will be bringing your audience into the fold, so to speak.
You can further this intimacy by moving throughout your delivery, even into various sections of the room if possible, all the while interacting with your listeners as you seek their agreement with your words.
If you want your audience to ‘stay tuned’ for the development, bring them into the fold by:
1. Grabbing their attention with your opening remarks by means of a joke, a question, a brief story or a quote. (Whatever way you choose to begin, be sure your opening is pertinent to your topic.)
2. Interacting with them – not talking at them – by making eye contact;
3. Speaking in a conversational style;
4. Remaining energized; and,
5. Getting them to agree with your thoughts by keeping your remarks positive – not negative.
An audience that is in agreement with you from the beginning of your presentation will be much more likely to stay connected with you, keeping their focus on you throughout your delivery.
When you speak for 40, 50, or even 90 minutes, it is imperative that you enthuse your listeners throughout, not just in your opening because the ‘heart’ or ‘meat’ of your material is in your development and that is where you are going to teach them, inspire them and/or sell them with your words, your ideas, or your products.
Your plan of action in creating your material should be to grab them with your opening, motivate them in the development, and move them to action with your closing words.
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private Skype session in voice and presentation skills as well as 2-day workshops and Voicing It, her video training in streaming or DVD format. For more information, visit her website Voice Dynamic