What is even worse is when you are giving a talk and your audience appears to be getting bored. Even worse, they fall asleep. I pride myself in being a very upbeat and inspiring speaker. BUT, there was this one time, it was late on a Friday afternoon and this high level executive group had been meeting in a dimly lite room all week. AND to make matters worse it was 115 degrees outside and about 85 degrees in the room. I am sure you know what’s next. One of the audience members FELL ASLEEP with a low grade snore. I am not going to lie, that was not one of my best talks.
Don’t let this happen to you! Here are 5 ways to prevent putting your audience to sleep.
1. Be interesting.
Always bring your best you and your best material to any presentation. Interesting is a must when you are in front of an audience. The brain LOVES different and will pay attention when there is something interesting or unique. Be original and different, not like “off” different, deliver information in a way no one else has delivered it.
2. Connect and Engage.
Connecting with your audience through engaging questions or activities is vital to your success. If the audience is forced to listen without engagement, they will be bored quickly. A talk or presentation is a conversation with your audience, even if they don’t say a word. You must engage with your audience, so they will engage with you.
3. Get right into it.
WOW them and then move into the content. It is easy to switch off the audience at the very beginning by having a very slow, low-impact start. Always grab the audience’s attention with a WOW, to gain their interest in your topic and to arouse their energy, curiosity and active involvement in the topic. Kick start the energy and lift the audience up from the very beginning. If you’ve bored them at the start, there is even more work for you in lifting them back up.
4. Death by Power-Point.
There is nothing wrong with a Power-Point presentation. They can be a brilliant way to engage an audience. However, there is a lot wrong with bad, boring PPT. A word of caution, never design your PPT presentation with a series of bullet points, i.e. your speech notes. They were designed to visually display your key-points in a high impact and visually appealing way for the audience. Design an effective simple PPT for your audience.
5. Finish on time.
Be a true PROFESSIONAL! No matter how much more you have to say, finish on time. Even if you think they really need to hear this one last brilliant thing, finish on time. Did I mention, finish on time? You want to be remembered for being interesting, fun, profound, exciting but never ever boring. Deliver a unique talk, so that you are remembered long after you are done speaking in a positive way.