We’ve all been audience members for presenters who we don’t connect with.  Our minds wander, we get offended, we ignore the presenter – we do everything but pay attention.  No one wants to be that presenter, do we?  So, how to avoid that?  Here are a couple of quick tips:

  • Weave in intrinsically human visuals:  if you’re talking about housing, show images of houses with their occupants.  If talking about food prices, show images of someone affected, ideally with their emotions on their face.  Get the idea?
  • Make eye contact with a few specific audience members over and over.  Pick one in every section, this way each part of the room feels like you’re paying attention to them.
  • Don’t use notes:  If you’re looking at your notes, you’re not looking at your audience.
  • Get personal:  If you’ve got an awesome personal story that would add color to your content, then do it.  If you’re funny, be funny.
  • Be present:  Focus on what you’re doing right there and then.  Focus on the people in the room and how they’re reacting to you.

And of course, rehearse so you know your content well enough that you can do the above!