When you are up on the stage, the worst feeling is to see someone yawning, sleeping, staring into the abyss. A speaker needs attention to stay motivated. However, when that attention is missing, confidence goes down. In such situations, it is very easy to blame the audience. Real evaluation, however, would reveal uncomfortable facts.
A study by the University of California revealed that the average span of an adult is just 8 seconds. That is because TMI (too much information) is competing with TOM (top of the mind). Your audience will only register what they find relevant to their interests.
A Microsoft study found that 60% of people start to lose interest in the presentation only after 10 minutes. This suggests that either the presentations are not that interesting or they are being presented to the wrong audience.
In a digital age with such short attention spans, what can you do to make a difference and engage your audience throughout? There’s a solution – five ways that help you conquer the stage.
Don't Bombard Your Audience with Information
As stated above, TMI is competing with TOM. So, here are a few things to keep in mind when you are speaking to your audience. One, don’t think of your audience as laymen.
They might possess more knowledge than you. And when you integrate information dumps in your speaking session, they get the hint that you are “more words and less action” because you are telling them what they already know.
Two, give them something new and relevant. Whatever you are speaking about, make it relevant to your audience. Knowing your audience before you actually begin your session is very important.
Once you know their background, you can design your session in a way that keeps them hooked. Keep things new! Nobody wants to hear old stories.
Three, don’t reveal too much at once. Suppose your session has ten very interesting facts or talking points. Don’t just give them away all at once. Give your audience something every time they doze off and hook them back in.
Keep It Lively
Whatever your topic of the day is, remember to make it personal and lively. Your audience expects you to be human, not a robot. And humans smile, gesture, crack jokes, and talk about their personal lives. Even in formal sessions, a little humor goes a long way to build an impression.
Before you reveal big facts, craft a personal anecdote and somehow link the fact with that. That way, the audience remembers your anecdote, which helps register the information that you were trying to deliver in the first place.
When you’re cracking jokes in your session every now and then, make sure your jokes are not offensive to anyone. Keep it pleasant for all!
Make Interesting Presentations
Presentations are one of the best tools to convey your message. When you are speaking, you are just using words to deliver the message. But when you are using slides, you have all sorts of things to use as a way to convey, like images, videos, audio, etc.
Presentations make your session a perfect audio, visual experience. It is 100% recommended to add at least one video to your session.
A video brings back attention to all those people who are phased out of the session. Some people think presentations are kind of a hassle, but you can use AI presentation makers to create interesting, visually appealing presentations within seconds.
Interaction is the Key
Keeping your session relevant and lively requires interaction as well as interaction. Every session is a conversation; if it’s not, you are doing it wrong.
And every conversation is a two-way street. If you are only speaking on your own, of course, the audience is going to get bored at some point. You have to keep it engaging and interactive.
You can do that by asking questions, taking polls and surveys from your audiences, conducting an activity and choosing audience members to take part in it, and even allowing someone from the audience to come up on stage and share their experience.
These little interactive sessions keep the audience on edge – they can be one of the people who you choose to interact with! Consequently, they are constantly engaged.
Conclude It on a High Note
Suppose your session is going well, and everyone is happy about it. Now it’s time to end your session. You can’t just put a full stop anywhere and say your goodbyes. You have to gradually lean in towards the end.
In this case, you can take inspiration from stand-up comedians. They keep a recurring joke throughout their show. In the end, they throw a punchline that ends that joke for good, and then they walk out while the audience is rolling on the floor, laughing.
A good speaker knows how to follow a proper theme, keep it interesting, and conclude the session with relevance to the theme. In the end, you can share a shocking fact or ask a rhetorical question. The point is to make the audience keep thinking about your session even after its end.
Learning the art of conquering the stage and keeping your audience engaged throughout your time is not difficult, but it definitely comes with experience. Once you master this art, every time you speak, it will be an entirely fun and engaging experience for you and your audience. Gradually but effectively, you will be able to conquer the stage and be a speaker that everyone is excited to hear.
You’ve learned about the right way to deliver information, keep your sessions lively, integrate AI presentation makers to make a complete audio/visual experience, interact with your audience, and finally conclude your presentation on a high note.
If you follow these tips and keep your sessions relevant, lively, interactive, and visually appealing, you can definitely become a speaker who knows how to deliver a performance.