Not easily! You are not as sexy as your listeners’ 93 digital apps flashing updates via phone/watch/tablet.
Here are 9.5 ways to avoid audience boredom:
- Know who you are talking to. REALLY have their pulse and customize to meet their specific needs.
- Give clear, crisp, usable take-aways. Tangible outcomes = value.
- Open with a grab-your-attention technique such as a funny/relevant story, stunning statistic, quippy quote or an audience engagement exercise.
- Provide an ROI early on. That’s your Return On Investment for them. Their time is an investment in you. Can your words increase their bottom line, make them less stressed, improve their competitive advantage? If so, and I hope so, don’t keep this a secret.
- Get rid of horrible PowerPoint slides. If your slides have tons of data, long paragraphs, bullets that take up the whole visual, complicated graphs…. call me! You’ve just anesthetized your audience.
- Add relevant stories, analogies, metaphors, and examples. These tools create word pictures that aid understanding and increase your approachability.
- Add humor. Not jokes – just funny stuff that comes from your take on their issues. If you want to poke at anyone – poke at yourself. Self-deprecation, used wisely, enhances your vulnerability in a good way.
- Praise your listeners sincerely and specifically. If you are NOT sincere, they will sense this and you appear as manipulative (which would be the case). IF you can say some kind of compliment that’s real – this will endear them to you and empower them to continue manifesting this positive behavior.
- End when you say you will end. You can even end five minutes early, but never five minutes late.
9.5 Your last half-tip: Be yourself, on purpose.
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog
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