Speaking to groups is my number one lead generator and I am always looking for ways to make my presentations better.
88 hours ago, I learned some new tips from fellow Duct Tape Marketing consultant Glen Froelich (Local MarketSense) at the Gathering 2012.
One of his tips was look to include specific versus vague details or examples. Notice I said “88 hours ago” versus “last week at Gathering 2012” – that’s an example of a specific detail. It is much more interesting, isn’t it?
Here are 6 more tips that I found very helpful:
- Never end with Q&A. This one stopped me in my tracks, because I always end with Q&A. But it immediately made sense to me. As a speaker, you have the ability to end the presentation on a powerful and high note. That summary is going to linger with your audience. When you end with Q&A, the momentum and mood is lost. Worse, if the questions are negative or simply not of interest to most of the audience – your presentation’s energy is drained. Instead of ending with Q&A, offer to be available for questions after the presentation or by email.
- Last words linger. As a companion tidbit to never end with Q&A, do end with a story or a wrap up of some kind.
- Dealing with hijackers. We’ve all been there. Every audience has one person who asks multiple questions or is cynical about the information being shared or wants to show they are smarter than the speaker, just to name a few. Glen suggests acknowledging the cynics and moving on, rather than arguing. To move on from the serial questioner, he recommends saying something like “Let’s get other questions from some one in the room who hasn’t asked a question…”
- Speak to the back of the room. Your voice needs to carry. Nothing is more frustrating than to be in the back of the audience and unable to hear the speaker. Use the microphone. Project your voice.
- Modulate your sound. It’s difficult to focus on a monotone drone. Vary between rapid, slow and moderate speed delivery. Use different tones. Pause. Emphasize key points. Occasionally repeat key ideas. Variety of sound makes for easier and more engaged listening.
- WIIFM. What’s in it for me? Your presentation should illustrate the benefits for your audience. Put your concepts into their terms. Use examples that will resonate with the listener. Quantify the benefits: money saved, revenue increased, quality of life improved. Since people came to your session looking to learn something, make sure you give them a next step or a call to action – let them know where can they go to learn more.
I am looking forward to using these six suggestions in my next presentation. What tips have you employed when you are presenting to a group?