What happens when you keep your speech more interesting? Your audience will listen attentively to your words. People will think about your message. Your listeners are more likely to act on your call to action.
When those three things happen you know you delivered a successful presentation. So how can you keep your speech more interesting?
First you must realize that making your speech interesting is not something you do one time. You must keep injecting interesting moments throughout your presentation – much like adding spice to your cooking. If you want to make your meal more interesting you will include a variety of flavors and textures that stimulate the palate of your guests.
Delivering an effective speech is similar. You want to stimulate the minds of your listeners. So, what can you do to make your speech more interesting?
You can deliver more interesting and effective presentations by being present when you speak. What does that mean? Your audience must feel that you are there in the room with them – body, mind and soul. They must feel that you want to be there, that you are listening as well as talking and that you truly care about their best interests.
How can you demonstrate that?
Transform your speech into a conversation instead of a lecture. Think of how you might feel when the speaker is lecturing at you. That might feel rather cold. Lectures are often delivered by parents to children. Neither party enjoys them. They tend to be a one way communication. The listeners are usually made to feel small.
Use these techniques to be present when you present.
Ask questions of your audience and listen to their answers. Acknowledge and respect their opinions and perspectives especially when they differ from yours.
Encourage questions from your audience. Listen carefully to their queries and answer as best as you can. Look at the person asking the question and allow others to offer their comments.
Make eye contact with your audience while you are speaking. Don’t speak to a spot on the back wall, your slides or the floor. Look at your listeners and talk to them. Connect with people for a few seconds and then move your eyes to another person. Talk to every person in your audience one person at a time.
Be human. Admit a personal flaw, mistake or failing. Nothing says “I’m real” like sharing an embarrassing moment. Pretending to be perfect will offend your audience. Just don’t admit to all your flaws in one speech.
Laugh. Ha! Inject some humor into your presentation. Laugh when you make a mistake and laugh when something funny happens in the room. When you make a mistake be willing to allow people to laugh at you.
Be aware of what is happening in the room. When someone sneezes, say “Bless you.” When a cell phone rings, make a comment. If there is noise from outside, acknowledge that. If the mood seems to be dragging, either take a break or finish early.
Tell stories. Most people would prefer to listen to stories over lectures. Just ask your children. Include stories in your presentation that connect with your audience and illustrate your message.
You can keep your speech more interesting by demonstrating to your audience that you are fully present in the room.
© George Torok helps business presenters deliver million dollar presentations. Get your free Power Presentation Tips at http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com Arrange for presentation skills training or coaching at http://www.Torok.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.