|Dear Meeting Guru,
"I have to give a one-hour keynote talk
to several hundred people. Normally I do a 20-minute keynote which
seems just right to keep people interested. I know 1520 minutes
is the maximum for any one form of presentation. What do you suggest
after the first 1520 minutes of my one-hour talk to keep hundreds
of people involved and interested?"
Think about the most interesting presentation youve ever witnessed, ask
yourself why it was so interesting and then try to implement these elements
in your own presentation. An hour presentation is a long time to get and maintain
the audiences attention. Try interspersing lecture with Q&A sessions,
brainstorming discussions, role-playing, demonstrations, multimedia segments
or storytelling. Below, you'll find some other tips for creating an interesting
||Don't stand behind a podium. This creates a distance between
you and the audience and a sense of formality. For a truly interesting
presentation, you need to connect with your audience on a personal level.
A general rule? The less formal a presentation, the better.
||Tell related stories. Everyone loves stories, especially
when theyre related to the discussion topic. Story-telling can
also be an effective method of driving your point home. People remember
a story and will likely carry it with them once the presentation is
||Move. When a speaker doesn't move during his presentation,
any well-meaning audience has difficulties paying whole-hearted attention.
Simply put, a static speaker produces a listless audience. Having several
points from which you present proves youre alive, forces your
audience to keep its eyes open and, because you are moving, actually
reduces your own stress.
||Enthusiasm is important. Everyone knows its contagious
so communicate your excitement by smiling, making eye contact and using
an enthusiastic tone of voice.
||Get the audience involved. Nine times out of ten, audiences
remember a session in which they participated. But make the participation
voluntary and easy. Involuntary participation can be disastrous
people dont want to feel threatened and you dont want to
be viewed as a tyrant.
||Demonstrate your proposition. Dont just say it!
Show the audience what you mean. Lectures are verbal and usually dull,
but demonstrations are graphic and add interest. Where lectures state
the case, demonstrations prove it. Use visuals to get your point across.
As Confucius once said, "If a man is not far-sighted, then
suffering will be close to him." In other words, the fact that youre
planning ahead for your presentation ensures a higher degree of success.
Although your presentation is still months away, youre already thinking
of ways to transform your presentation from average to extraordinary. Its
this type of planning and forethought that will ensure success. Congratulations
and good luck with your presentation.
may good meeting karma always be with you!