COM/218 – Ways to engage an audience in a presentation

As a presenter you have the challenge to keep you audience engaged – get their attention and keep it.  Some ways you can do this are:

Ask a provocative question.  Get your audience thinking by asking a powerful question on the topic you are presenting.  The question should challenge traditional ideologies or customs.  For example, Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I have a dream” speech posed the question “When will you be satisfied?” – Martin Luther King Jr. to invoke emotion on the topic of diverse injustice.

Another method to bring the audience in and add weight to the topic of discussion is to add statistical facts.  This can be done in a variety of ways, but the figures should come from a credible source, relate to the topic and accurately add value to the discussion.

Sharing a personal experience that relates to the topic is a good way to make the presentation personal and add interest.  It also can show the audience that you believe in what you are presenting and adds sincerity to the theme.

In the end, whatever method you use keeping the audience interest from beginning to end and giving them something to remember will make the experience more meaningful for both speaker and audience.


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