One of the great things about working with my public speaking clients to help them bedazzle their audiences is that big impact comes from tiny changes. For example, teaching the speakers how to stand and what to do with their hands* frees up enormous energy for the actual message. These changes are not that different what the way people usually like to position themselves, but the impact is huge. (Remember 55% of the message is visual!) The thing is, it’s almost impossible to know what those tiny changes need to be, if you’re working by yourself.
These 5 questions can help you structure your talk to get your point across in the most powerful way. Just because you feel comfortable as a presenter does not necessarily mean your message is as effective as it could be. What you want always to focus on is: results for your audience.
1. Given what you know about your audience (do your homework,) what do you think this audience needs? The answer to this comes from what you have to offer them.
2. What are some concrete examples and testimonies that show the results of your message? These examples and testimonies about what happens to people who do what you’re telling them to do in your talk, become the compelling stories you tell new audiences.
3. What inspires you in nature, art or music? See if you can relate this to your topic, especially for your visual support.
4. If you use Power Point, how can you make slides that are easy for the audience to recall? (Don’t make slides thinking only about what will help you to remember what to say.)
5. How can you involve your audience at different points of your message? You can ask questions, bring a volunteer to the stage with you, use a prop….shake it up.
* If you want to know how to stand and what to do with your hands for your next presentation, even if it’s a brief introduction at a stand-up meeting, here’s the scoop: Stand up straight with your feet planted a bit apart, under your shoulders. That means your feet are neither right next to each other nor too far apart. This gives you balance.
Your hands should simply hang down. Sounds easy but it’s not because you’ll want to wring your hands or cross your arms. Practice though and you’ll get used to it. This is the position of power for your big impact!