Keys Guaranteed to Keep Your Audience's Attention©
Adapted from The Overnight Guide To Public Speaking by Ed Wohlmuth.
Used with permission.
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Include the following
elements in this exact order in your next presentation. Your audience
will stay with you until you take your bow. Be prepared for ear splitting
Let's assume you're
speaking to potential customers for your big, beautiful bean bag chairs.
I will not
waste your time. ( "In the next few minutes, I'd like to demonstrate
the comfort and construction of these big, beautiful bean bag chairs."
Or, "I'd like to begin my brief remarks by asking you to remember
the last time you were really comfortable in a chair.") Your
audience will silently or audibly sigh with relief. You're promising
not a be a big, beastly wind bag.
I know who
you are. ( "As people who deserve to relax after work, you
need to..." Or, "Several of you mentioned to me that your
work involves lots of reading." You must know your audience
and you must let them know early on that you do. Each audience feels
it's unique, so even if your message is the same, a reference to
engineers when you're speaking to dentists will divert their attention.
Here's how my
speech is organized. ( "The three points I want to cover are..."
Or, "There are two prime ways to arrange big, beautiful bean
bag chairs. The first is..." Or, "I plan to describe our
proposal, demonstrate it and then ask for questions.") Since
so many speakers aren't organized, your audience will be impressed
and relieved that you are. You will make it so much easier for your
audience to follow you if you announce your agenda.
I know my subject.
(Without sounding pompous or overbearing: "When we evaluate
big, beautiful bean bag chairs,..." Or, "During the last
decade designing furniture, we..." Or, "When I was interviewed
by Chair Monthly on this issue...") If you don't know your
subject, you shouldn't be speaking on it. Build credibility early.
Here is my
most important point. ( "The one thing I want you to remember
is...." Or, "The most important point to take from here
is..." Or, "Write this one thing down...") This will
alert your audience that something important is about to be said.
This will jerk your audience back into attention mode.
I am finished.
( "I want to leave you with this one thought..." Or, "Before
I conclude, let me tell you...") Give a great closing story,
or quote or wish for the audience. Be sure to include a call to
action. "Come to our store on 5th and Main today." Or,
"Visit our website, www.bigbeautifulbeanbagchairs.com."
Conclude once. Many speakers give audiences whip lash by concluding
five or six times.
Organize your remarks
with these six keys in mind and you'll open the door to successful presentations.
Speaker/Author/Coach, works with organizations and individuals that
want to maximize their performance and quality of life. Check out her
free tips and articles at www.karensusman.com. Karen can be reached
at 1-888-678-8818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
more information: Presentation
Skills: Connect for Success