When giving a speech or an oral presentation to a group of people, the main challenge involved is effectively capturing and keeping the audience’s attention. Because of the fact that the human mind has the tendency of wandering when it’s not focused on anything in particular, specific guidelines should be followed which will allow you to captivate your audience while speaking which will boost your confidence.
A great way to start your presentation is with a question, as audiences respond very well to them. Because of the fact that our minds have a natural inclination to seek out answers to questions when you start your presentation with a rhetorical question, everyone’s eyes will land upon you as they wait for the answer. You can then use that moment, and the answer to the question as tools to effectively launch your speech.
During the course of your presentation, continue to strategically use rhetorical questions throughout. “Asking questions and giving answers will give more power to your speech, ensuring the audience’s continued and sustained attention” suggests Dan Smith of Keynote Speakers. “Of course, come up with the specific questions and answers that will be included in your presentation ahead of time, while preparing it.”
Use Visual & Audio Tools
While you are speaking, it is important to find visual and audio elements that can help grab and keep your audience’s attention. Even though your voice is going to be the main thing your audience is listening to, it can be helpful to introduce some other pieces of audio in your presentation so that it breaks up your speech. These visual aids you use in your speech
The Power of Emotion
Emotion is a very important part of a speech. Incorporating emotion in your speech will capture and win over the hearts of your listeners. Instead of appearing distant and unapproachable, the warm emotional aspect of your presentation will bring you close to your welcoming and receptive audience.
“If your audience is drawn to you, they will always learn from you” says John Rogan of Motivational Speakers. “Keep your general facial expression relaxed and responsive to the dynamics of your speech, and to the reaction of your audience, cracking a smile when appropriate. Make sure that your audience receives a message from you, that serves the purpose of making it clear to them, that they are a great audience, and that you like them.”
The Pacing of Your Speech
The rate at which you speak should vary and flow during the course of your speech. The pace of your presentation will be more rapid in some sections, and will slow down with more deliberacy in others. What you want to do is match your speaking pace with the appropriate content, and the emotionally charged tone of your material.
Read through your written speech prior to giving it, making notes of where to change the pace of your presentation. The sense of when to speed up, and when slow down will eventually come to you more easily, and will become second nature as you gain more experience in speaking to a group of people.
Don’t Be Boring
Avoid boring your audience! You must capture your audience’s attention. A boring speech is a dead speech! One of the first questions that you need to ask yourself, while you prepare your presentation is, how knowledgeable is my audience about this subject? Structure your presentation with content that is mainly outside of what your listeners already know about it. Covering subject matter that your audience is already familiar with, will only be necessary when leading up to related subject matter that they are not yet familiar with.
Following the oral presentation tips in this article will keep your audience enthralled and ensure you capture your audience’s attention when speaking. While this can and will be a challenge, especially with longer speeches, speaking successfully can be done, and will become more and more automatic with every speech.
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