In today’s technology driven, fast-paced world we are inundated with so many different messages from so many different sources, it’s difficult to hold someone’s attention for very long. People are impatient and demand instant gratification, so get to the point and don’t take too long. Here is how not to lose your listeners.
1. Understand your audience
Know who your audience is and understand what they want to gain from your presentation. Keep it focused on the key points that you want to deliver in your talk. Don’t tell them information that they already know.
2. Less is more
Don’t overcomplicate your message or get wrapped up in the detail. Don’t be afraid to cut information out of your presentation that does not add any value. People can only keep three or four pieces of information in their short term memory easily, so consolidate your message into three distinct blocks of information.
Winston Churchill humorously said: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”
3. Reduce the fear by visualizing the end result
Author Rhonda Byrne quotes “You can easily understand that the more prepared you are before a test, exam or speech, the less fear you will have. When you prepare your mind for something you’re about to undertake by visualizing the outcome, you will reduce the fear you feel. You might also discover that when you begin to do the fearful thing, the fear disappears at once. I have often found this to be true in my life, the fear of doing something is much worse than the reality of doing it.”
4. Smile…even if you must fake it
Susan Cain is a former lawyer who wrote Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking said “There are psychological tricks you can employ to feel calm during intimidating situations, such as speaking in public or chairing a meeting. For example, pay attention to how your face and body arrange themselves when you’re feeling confident, and adopt those positions when the time comes to fake it. Studies also show that taking simple physical steps – like smiling – makes us feel stronger and happier, while frowning makes us feel worse.”
KEEP IT SHORT. KEEP IT SIMPLE. REDUCE THE FEAR AND SMILE.