Psychologists say you have about 30 seconds tops to connect with someone so when you appear on stage in front of your audience the clock is already ticking. They will be sitting watching you and quietly thinking we know this guys name and he has been briefly introduced however what’s he going to say in the next 45 mins to an hour that is going to make me listen?
So it is important for you to get your message across about what you are deeply, deeply passionate about to grab their attention. When I speak, I am representing The Colour Works; our passion is that ‘We believe everyone in an organisation can make a positive unique contribution to it. We believe with our facilitation style, passion and cutting edge learning, we unlock that potential to the benefit of the individual, team and organisation.‘ A simple however powerful message that engages with the audience immediately. They don’t need to know if you have 8 degrees and 20 years experience in your field as the conference organisers should have ensured you were fit to speak at their conference in the first place.
ENTHUSE AND ENTERTAIN
There is nothing worse than when you are sat in the audience and the speaker stands behind the lecturn, powerpoint slides appear on the big screen and the speaker reads word for word exactly what is on the slide and you know you have to sit through another hour of this! Whilst powerpoint is good, it should be used as a prompt to enable you to embelish on key points by simply talking to your audience. Additionally, bring it to life. If you are talking on a particular topic, you should know about it from a personal perspective so why not tell a story about your experience and throw in some photos or graphs to mix it up a bit. People love stories, just remember when you were younger how you used to love to listen to the stories your parents or grandparents told you. Linked to this people like to laugh, especially at someone else’s expense! So if you can weave in some anecdotes where the joke is on you. They will love you for it as it proves you are human just like them. Be mindful however not to offend anyone!
Always think ‘What’s in it for me?’ Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Think if you were sat in the audience what would I want? For those of you that are familar with The Colour Works and the learning we deliver, you will understand that different people have different communication needs, learning styles and decision-making processes and you will be faced with a whole host of different people in your conference audience so it is vital to remember this and ensure ALL their needs are met. Some will want to know how what you are talking on will benefit them and their organisation, others will want to know the impact on them and their teams, others will want to be enthused by future possibilities and others will want the facts and detail to support the topic you are talking on. All the aforementioned need to be weaved into your presentation to ensure everyone takes away something positive from your talk.