The Art of Presenting: Capturing Your Audience's Attention
Love it or hate it, being able to nail a great presentation that keeps your audience engaged and focused on what you have to say is an invaluable skill to have. Whether you utilise it in the workplace or have to deliver a speech at your best friends wedding, being able to hold your own in front of a large group of people is not only good for furthering your career but providing you with a strong confidence boost.
Whether it's the fear of feeling exposed when standing in front of your audience or simply fluffing your lines, these are all fears and anxieties that many people feel when preparing to deliver a presentation. Let’s take a look at some top tips below to help you deliver at your best when you stand up in front of your audience.
1). Confidence It’s easier said than done but by speaking and coming across confidently you are already commanding the audience's attention. Listening to a confident and commanding speaker will also make the audience feel more at ease and engaged in addition to yourself. Whilst it feels uncomfortable feeling shaky and nervous, it is also just as uncomfortable for the audience who are watching.
2). Passion Let your passion for your chosen subject shine through. There is nothing more captivating than listening to someone speak about a subject that they are truly passionate about. Display your passion in the way you speak about the subject and animate the conversation by using subtle gestures with your body as you speak. Passion is a real hook for an audience and can help you hold the audience's attention.
3). Make eye contact with your audience Making eye contact with your audience is an absolute must. It’s a sign of trust, a sign that you know what you are talking about and most of all engages the audience with your conversation and adds a layer of authenticity to your presentation.
4). Keep it to the point When you are creating a presentation ensure that only the essentials are displayed on the slide. The slides of the presentation should be merely just for bullet points and snippets of information around which you elaborate. Ensure that the viewer's focus is on you and not on reading copious amounts of information from each slide. In addition, providing viewers with a handout is another great way of keeping the viewer's attention as this removes the need for the audience to take notes.
5). Most importantly enjoy! Delivering a faultless presentation can give you a real buzz, not only straight after but a buzz that can be banked for future presentations too. As we addressed at the start of this article, presenting is a very valuable skill and delivered confidently and concisely can captivate an audience. The next time you have a presentation to prepare for or feel nervous about the prospect of a presentation, remember the key points above to help you get into the zone.
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