Professional speakers are sometimes affected by stage fright. They simply handle it in a different light and make the most of the situation. When you are challenged to make a presentation and speak before an audience, how should you deal with it?
While making a presentation to an audience may seem daunting, you don’t need to get yourself worked up on how you can make a stellar impression on your audience. Sometimes you need to focus on how your message can make the desired impact. A relaxed and comported speaker who knows his/her chops should know what their audience would love to hear during a presentation.
Yes, you may think you’re a great speaker and you cannot make a mistake of what to say during a presentation. But most times it is not about you, but rather focusing on the audience and their needs can make lots of difference. Before a presentation, concern yourself with your audience and try to know what they want to hear. Most times these four things will come to play.
They want you to tell them why they should listen
Sometimes you may have a great story and your audience is really not interested in what you have to say. Your audience may not have an obvious reason for doing such that you are aware of. Yet to impress on your audience you have to take up the challenge to make your audience interested in whatever you have to say.
To reach the heart of your audience you have to make them care. For example if you are speaking on the health and safety of persons in the workplace, you need to remind them of stories of people who have been injured in the workplace, how this could have been avoided and the consequences such injuries can have for them and the business establishment.
Before you give any presentation make sure you find a reason why your audience needs to listen to you! They will always be interested in whatever you tell them that stirs their desire to listen.
They want to listen to stories
Whether you like it or not, every audience would love to get personal with you. This is why stories are always an effective tool to reach the heart of any audience. Because it serves as bridge that connects their sense of imagination to the message you are trying to pass across. Our brains are actually wired to enjoy stories. People tend to spark up when you say, “I’ll tell you a story about…”
You should learn to use stories to reinforce the point you are making. Sometimes you can go further to keep your audiences attentive by structuring your whole presentation in a story form.
They want to be informed in an interesting way
At the end of the day a presentation should mean you are offering something your audience has either not heard before or want to hear more of. The problem with many speakers is that they do not see this gap. Rather than make their presentation go outward they sometimes make it go inward.
Most times people would come to your session because of the synopsis – that is what they are interested in. You do not have to change it because it suits you. Speak to your audience based on what they need to hear and not because of what you desire to speak. Whatever information you are passing across should be a topic your audience will be interested in and not otherwise.
They want to listen to a message that does not choke them
Many professionals or experts tend to have a lot of knowledge about a certain field that they just provide so much information on a subject. Such information can become “heavy” or “choking” for an audience.
An audience on the other hand wants to listen to a presentation that is comprehensive, one that is not too easy or too hard to grasp. Your presentation should have a flow that makes it engaging and fulfilling. Audiences tend to lose a track of time and are focused on the speaker when he is able to put them in a state of flow.
The way to make your presentation have a flow is to make it easy for your audience to follow through on everything you are saying. The major task for your audience during a presentation is thinking. It does not require challenging thinking to listen to someone speak on a series of bullet points. This can get boring quickly. On the other hand if the speaker presents a complicated flow chart and jumps into the details without explaining these will become very challenging for your audience.
So it is up to you the speaker to audit every minute of your presentation and know how you can engage your audience in a way that they will be kept thinking. Your presentation should neither be too easy or too hard to decipher.