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How to Involve the Audience in Your Presentation

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/24/2006 | Self Improvement

The mastery of public speaking involves lot of audience participation. Audience participation has two aspects: how deep the audience has gone into the topic and how much interaction is taking place between the speaker and the audience. As a speaker your success depends on how well you get across your view to the audience. Only oratory skills are nothing to grab the attention of the audience all through your lecture. You have to employ certain tools or attention gaining devices to grab the attention of your audience. Now you should skillful enough in their use so that they do not appear like you are using these devices as some sort of technique. You have to disperse them through your speech in a way that they appear to be the natural part of your subject.

A good public speaker can feel the tempo of his audience very well. As for instance the techniques will be different if the major portion of the audience consists of females. The tools will be completely different when you speak in front of a bunch of boisterous kids. The tools are supposed to spark off the curiosity of audience at every turn of your speech. You have only a few seconds at your disposal and within these short spans with the skillful use of these techniques you have to snatch their attention.

Attractive Introduction

First of all, maintain a conversational approach all through the talk and an interesting beginning means the battle is half won. Now question is, how you make the beginning really interesting. The suggested tools are simple; you offer a real life example in support of the view you are going to establish though your speech. The example may be in forms of certain statistics or data that shock your audience, it can be a photograph, it can be a graphical representation if you are using a power point presentation and possibilities are limitless. It can even be a piece of your personal experience. In fact citing examples from your personal life or narrating a real life experience prove to be very useful in holding on to the curiosity of the audience of all age.

Suppose you are going to deliver a speech on first time pregnancy, start your presentation by exhibiting a photograph of a cute new born baby.

Sailing through your Speech

Now that you have made a head start with your speech, your task is to make the audience follow your speech attentively. According to most experts the audience becomes more attentive if they know what to expect next. So forecasting by offering clues and transitions are two important attention gaining devices.

Forecasting means simply dividing your whole speech in a number of coherent divisions and letting the audience know about these divisions. On your speech on first time pregnancy, you can prepare your audience this way: First I will introduce you to the symptoms of pregnancy, then I will move on to the physical changes that the pregnant woman is going to experience in the first few months. Next I will discuss about the precautions that the first time mothers are going to take and like this. This divisions as an introductory note offers an overview on your speech and heightens audiences anticipation for particular divisions.

Now the tool of transition acts as important signposts in terms of skillful words. The phrases like Now taking you to the next phase which is even more crucial or Now is the time for turning to the most vital aspect of the study. There are plenty of such phrases and it is up to you how you use them to your benefit.

Add Some Spice

Sprinkle good-natured humor and witty one-liners all through your speech. People are naturally attracted to all things funny. But do not take the jokes to a point where they distract your audiences attention. The quotations, anecdotes or jokes should be used to confirm your point further, not to drift away your audience from the topic.

Using Props

Props may sound too showy but they will help you to connect with audience more. Basic visuals are very good for drawing attraction. With regard to our previous example of a speech on first time pregnancy, the prop you can use is the ultra- sound print-outs to refer how fetus inside mothers womb look in various stages of pregnancy. The would-be mothers will take immediate interest of what you say.

Thus the tools you can use to gain the audiences attention are limitless. Only you should be little intuitive in your selection. The resonance of your speech will remain with your audience if the ending is also appropriate and there is coherence between the beginning and the end. In our example, you can finish your talk by propping up once again the same photograph to take the audience back to the starting point with this finishing touch So you all are going to safely deliver cute babies just like this within a short while, only take necessary precautions and stay healthy both physically and emotionally.