June 14, 2007

Tips from the Expo



1. Have a strong ending for your talk, something besides "That's it."

You want to leave your audience with a message that's powerful: heartwarming, funny, intriguing, inspiring. . . something that makes them want to take your information and do something with it. You don't want them walking away on a dull, flat note.

As a companion to this tip, remember to recap your talk and put your powerful closing statement after audience Q&A. That way, the audience remembers your last point, not the random off-topic question of the last audience member to speak.

2. Check your PowerPoint for typos. Have someone else proofreed for misteaks.

3. Only read from your notes if you are an accomplished actor and are very skilled at using scripts. Otherwise, you sound like a robot and your monotonous reading will put the audience to sleep. Likewise, only read directly from your PowerPoint slides if you want everyone to get up and walk out (well, they won't physically walk out, but they will mentally tune out).

4. If you are speaking to promote your business, don't promote your business! Give the audience tools and information that will be useful to them - put the audience's needs first. If you show that you care about them and their needs, they will respond to you and you will get business. If you show them that all you care about is pushing your goods, you will never hear from them again.

5. Be consistent and clear. If you have a list of "dos and don'ts", don't start your "do" list with a "don't" or your "don't" list with a "do." Make things simple and don't confuse your audience.

6. Don't assume that you can read the audience just by reading facial expressions and body language. Everyone learns in her/his own way. Sometimes an audience member will be completely stone-faced and appear to be disengaged, but will later come to you and tell you how much they benefited from your presentation. Give the audience 100% regardless of how much they seem to be giving you.

7. Interact, interact, interact. Only one of six speakers whose seminar I attended included any audience interaction outside of Q&A. Audience participation is what makes a presentation lively, fun and unpredictable - you never know what people are going to say! It keeps the audience engaged and allows them to contribute to creating the presentation, bringing a greater connection and energy level to the talk.

8. Never forget that you need the audience more than they need you. Without an audience, you are just talking to yourself. Thank them at the end for being there, for participating and for partnering with you in creating a fabulous experience.

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1 comments. Please add yours! :

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Thanks for this post Lisa! I have been to countless seminars where the speaker has just stopped speaking because the presentation was over. Without a proper ending to a presentation the audience never knows when to applaud.
I am now working on a snappy end to my presentation in November!
Thanks again!

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