We’ve all been there – a room filled with colleagues, listening to a presenter talk about the latest idea. But this time is different. What’s different is that the presenter is not only good – they’re GREAT! Everyone is engaged (translate this as “mobile devices are down”), the mood in the room is intensely enthusiastic and, as we go to break, the energy level is off the charts.
Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint what it is that makes a presenter great instead of good, inspirational instead of just informative. The techniques are usually subtle enough that they aren’t obvious to the audience member. So here are 3 secret changes you can make to your presentations, which will yield high impact.
1. Use movement intentionally. Rather than pace back and forth or move around randomly, choose when and where you will intentionally walk to emphasize a point. Mark these movements into your presentation outline, just as a screenwriter might do for an actor.
2. Pause. Great presenters realize that a well-timed pause or interrupted sentence can grab attention and increase dramatic effect. Embrace moments of silence rather than running from them.
3. Just before the break, tell a story or share an idea that will generate strong positive emotion. This will send participants off to chat over coffee about the encouraging messages. Save any negative or heavy information for after they return, sandwiching it between two upbeat messages.
For more ideas, check out my latest book, “Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.”
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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