Imagine that you are listening to a presenter droning on and on, using the same tone of voice and the same pace. Before long you start thinking about the vacation you want to take and the plans you would like to make for the weekend. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that you are no longer really listening. But wait, the presenter just said something you might need to know. It’s too late. You have missed it.
People constantly ask me, “How can I keep my audience engaged? I see that I am losing them.” I tell them that they must change the pace to catch the audience off guard – just a bit. In a Tango dance, a wonderful leader does not do the same step over and over. Frequently I dance with someone who has a pattern. I can tell which step we will do next. I can feel when we will start a sequence over again. My body stops paying attention as my mind says, “OK, now you’ll do this step that followed that one for the last three minutes.” This means that when the leader does something different, my body does not follow.
A good and experienced Tango leader does various different steps and different sequences in the first minute or two. These are not complicated, but they do require that I pay attention and follow. If I tune out, I’ll miss something important.
Picture from Pixabay
A successful presenter doesn’t start by reading an agenda or go on and on about a topic that is not of the most interest to the audience. The presenter starts with key ideas and messages that the audience is interested in hearing. This is how the presenter tells the audience that they will enjoy paying attention because the content is of interest to them. So next time you do a presentation, start by focusing on what you think the audience will be most interested in hearing. Get their attention right away and then vary the content and the pace so that you will continue to keep their interest.
Claudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.
Do visit Claudyne’s site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.
See Also: Claudyne Wilder on Indezine
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