Don’t worry if you’re faced with an audience dotted with bowed heads during your presentation. It’s not that they’re depressed, they have probably just replaced you with Twitter, Facebook, or the latest sports news. Their smartphone is simply more interesting than your presentation. It’s happened to me too!
Today, we have become so accustomed to channel hopping and switching between multiple apps and tabs on our computers that it's difficult to leave the "remote control mentality" at home. And we don’t even need to get dressed, let alone leave the house, to access a world of information on the Internet—just a couple of clicks away. So if someone actually makes the effort to come and hear you talk in person, you have to give them something in return. It’s not enough to stand up and tell them a series of facts that they can easily find out for themselves. You have to convey something more than that. And if you don’t capture their interest, they‘ll switch channels in an instant without giving it a second thought.
The presentation below provides some suggestions on how to increase your chances of engaging your audience. Perhaps the most important tip of all is to create your presentation as if it were a story. By using the narrative structures and storytelling techniques more often found in books, plays and films, you may be able to look out at a room full of people with heads held high and their attention focused on what you are saying. It’s not about putting on a show, but about increasing the impact of your message and making sure it reaches home. Nobody listens to a lazy speaker. If you want to stand a chance against all the other stimuli vying for your audience's attention, you will need to be creative and above all, work hard.
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