Giving presentations and talks to your employees is part of the job description. And in times like these, it’s more important than ever that you use these forums as an opportunity to connect with and inspire them.
But how do you know your audience is really engaged – or just pretending to listen?
These tips will catch – and keep – an audience’s interest.
- Start with objectives. Answer three questions: What should the audience take away? What do you want to accomplish? What should the audience do with the info? Build the presentation around the answers.
- Stand in their shoes. Keep the focus on them. What are their needs and concerns? Concentrate on how the audience will benefit from this info.
- Incorporate learning exercises. The average adult’s attention span is 15 minutes. Keeping that in mind, come up with ways to interact with the audience. This might include a longer Q&A, handouts, anecdotes or a follow-up to ensure understanding.
- Prepare for questions. Rehearse responses to potential questions so none comes as a surprise. Then, when someone asks a question, reword it for the audience to clarify understanding. Example: “So what you’re asking is…”
- Keep cool. Flub a word? Click on the wrong slide? Stumped by someone’s question? Don’t apologize. Simply acknowledge the error and move on, and in the last case, promise to get back to the questioner.