To be a part of TED world is truly an amazing feeling because for me this a platform of emotional wisdom that touches many peoples brain, heart and mind. It breaks down the barriers between people and instead builds bridges for human development, sustainability, respect and wisdom. March 31, 2018, a dream comes true. I have the honour, pleasure and joy to finally speak on a TED stage. Yes, till date I am still struck with joy.
When it comes to giving a speech before a mass crowd with conviction or just presenting in a business scenario, you want to give the crowd something unique, something they will not experience elsewhere. How you interact with them will dictate whether they will be running for the door or whether they will be disappointed there is no more to hear.
Let me talk to you through a few pointers on engaging with your audience while presenting to them. As with all my talks for me, the focus for my TEDx Talk was to add value to the listeners and the same you could easily to any of your talks or presentations.
Take them on your journey
Chances are, you will be presenting to the audience as an expert in your field, with an abundance of knowledge that you are passing on to them. But you were not always the know-it-all you are coming across as. Once you were just like them, oblivious to the subject matter at hand. Talk about your journey with the subject matter, how you came by it, any concerns you may have had and how you came to become the authority you are today. Your description will help to create an entry point the audience can more closely emphasise with.
Use language and terminology linked to your audience
Make sure that the language you use is tailored towards the audience; ensure that it is at a level they can understand. For example, if you were talking to an audience of graduates about the merits of joining the construction industry, you would not expect them to be familiar with all the acronyms that one with years of experience would know. If anything, you develop and design your presentation with your audience in mind, tailoring them to the subject matter and level they are familiar with.
Use an anecdote
To make your presentation more individualistic, include an anecdote. Perhaps it could be a personal story that taught you an important life lesson that resonates with you to this day, or a funny story that offers an ironic twist on the subject you are delivering. A few points to consider though; never make it too long lest you distract from the topic at hand, and make sure that it relates to the subject matter you are presenting on. If audiences want a long-winded zinger, they'll go for stand-up comedy.
Engage with the audience throughout
An obvious point, but if you can try to think of ways you can work the audience's participation into the talk so that it is not merely a case of you sending speeches their way. Maybe ask for their input on the subject matter or even bring them into the presenting. This will not only demonstrate a strong link to the audience, but it will also allow for a small iota of spontaneity that many presentations benefit from.
Back-up your points
If you're trying to sway the audience to see your perspective, you can't just do it solely on your talk, even if you have a silver tongue in your arsenal. Now while you don't need to bring in an army of presenters, there are other things you can do to give your points further merit. You can rely on historical data such as statistics or research accumulated by secondary sources, perhaps with quotations. It does not distract from your point and adds weight to the overall argument.
Conclude with a call-to-action
Ultimately, you want to come away with your audience swayed to your viewpoint. But the engagement should not end with the presentation. The engagement should be ongoing. Perhaps you want to encourage them to change the way they conduct themselves, or perhaps you want to pursue a professional relationship with them. Either way, your final point should be an encouragement to take action alongside you.
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Global Conference Speaker, Trainer, Mentor & Coach in Executive Presence For Leadership, Presentations, Sales & Life – Inspiring Trust & Compassion To Achieve ROI –Delivery Experience 25+ Years | Best-Selling Author®