How can you involve your audience in your presentation when you are talking to your colleagues or your clients? The most effective presentations are those that actively involve the audience. I am sure you have been to a training session, or some form of motivational speech where the presenter has asked everyone in the room to stand and do some form of activity, such as shake the hand of someone you don’t know. These activities are cliched, and invariably the audience is not enthusiastic to complete the activity. Whilst these audience involvement techniques are suitable for motivational speakers or trainers they are not transferable to your business presentation… Could you imagine asking your boss to stand up and rub their stomach whilst touching their nose?
How can you involve your audience in your presentation without asking your audience to do something stupid? The key is to involve them mentally and emotionally in your presentation. There are two very simple techniques that you can use to get your audience involved, that won’t involve you asking your boss or your client to do something childish…
As you prepare and write your presentation look at the language you are using. Question the words and phrases and identify opportunities to personalise the language with “You focused” statements. Note, when I refer to “you” I mean the audience and not you the presenter. Let us consider the following example
By approving this project we will gain financial benefits and deliver future projects quicker
If you approve this project, when completed, you will have reduced pressures on your budget and any future initiatives you undertake will be delivered more efficiently.
I’m sure you will agree that the second version is more appealing to an audience and more likely to get the desired outcome from the presentation.
You focused questions
Another method to get your audience mentally engaged in your presentation is to use questions. The key to using questions to successfully is to ensure they are appropriately personalised. Again let us consider two examples and compare the differences
What will happen if we reduce expenses by ten percent?
What would it mean to your budget if I could reduce your expenses by ten percent?
The second version is more likely to get the attention and result you desire in the presentation.
These two simple techniques will help you, the presenter, achieve the desired outcome from your presentation by involving your audience mentally. There is no need to ask your boss or client to do something childish to get their involvement in your presentation. Simply ensure you have “you” focused language and you will have them engaged and attentive.
How will you ensure your next presentation is you focused?