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Secret #4 - NEVER Apologize, Confess, Or Make Excuses! Presenters say darndest things…"I'm sorry but I have a cold today so my voice may sound a little funny" (apology)OR "I just found out about this presentation yesterday, so I didn't have as much time to prepare as I would have liked" (excuse) OR EVEN "I'm so nervous…" (confession). It is always surprising how often and how easily presenters use these NEGATIVE phrases.
Up until now, that is.
If you want to WOW your audience, you have to adopt and live by motto: NO APOLOGIES, NO EXCUSES, NO CONFESSIONS.
When you APOLOGIZE, MAKE AN EXCUSE, or CONFESS at any time during your presentation, you are in essence saying to audience, "Don't expect a lot from me today because I'll disappoint you." Instead of APOLOGIZING--"I'm sorry I didn't bring in a sample, but I couldn't arrange it on such short notice," try framing it in positive, "I am working on getting you a sample and I can deliver it next week." Instead of making EXCUSES, put your energy into delivering best possible presentation and then stand behind your performance--"I did best job I could given circumstances." And limit your CONFESSIONS--especially those audience has no business knowing such as "I'm so nervous"--to church!
Secret #5 - Get Your Audience Involved In Your Presentation! People are notoriously BAD listeners. In fact, attention span of average American is just nine seconds. That means every nine seconds each member of your audience takes a little mental vacation from taxing work of listening to your presentation.
With so much fading in and out, it makes sense that audience remembers only about 20% of what they hear. Stated conversely, audience will FORGET nearly everything you say (80% of it anyway). Retention improves when you add a visual element to your presentation, but it still is rather dismal at 50% (don't celebrate yet, they are still forgetting half of your presentation!). And that's just immediate recall. I'm sorry to say that it gets worse as time elapses.
So how do you get audience to remember MORE of your presentation for longer periods of time? To raise your audience's remembering quotient, you have to engage them in your presentation, getting them to actively participate in it. Your goal is to transform audience from passive listeners to active participants.
The six best ways I've found to engage audience in your presentation is to: 1. Ask audience a question 2. Take a poll 3. Involve audience in a demonstration 4. Give audience a test 5. Give audience a listening assignment 6. Employ a gimmick
When an audience participates in a presentation, they are fully engaged in presentation. This means that every part of them is involved in presentation-their hearts, minds, and bodies. The voice inside their head that thinks of all kinds of extraneous, random thoughts, is for once, silent while they focus solely on your presentation. This concentrated focus enables them to remember so much more!
For much more about these and other Presentation Secrets, check out book "15 Presentation Secrets: How to WOW Even Toughest Audience," by Debbie Bailey available at trainer2go.com/ebooks.html.
Debbie Bailey is author of the book "15 Presentation Secrets - How to WOW Even the Toughest Audience." She is well known for her presentation skills classes.
Debbie possesses a Masters Degree in Professional Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication.