How To Engage A Presentation Audience – Use A Theme To Your Presentation

When we think about about a presentation we typically consider the presentation itself, its preparation, planning and rehearsal. But it’s also critical to consider how we engage our audience — how we actively encourage their listening, understanding and belief in us. Just standing on the podium and speaking won’t do the trick.

Fortunately there are some techniques that we can use. And a major technique is the presentation theme. There are 5 things to bear in mind, though, when we use a theme in our presentation.

  1. Make it memorable. Themes help our audience to remember our presentation. And when our audience only retains some 10% of our speech that’s important. Themes are remembered by an audience because they can be. They work in much the same way as logos, slogans or catch phrases. They are typically creative, clever and appropriate for the task.
  2. Keep it simple. Our theme should be both simple and consistent. The simplicity is critical for memory — we don’t want our audience struggling with complexity at this stage of the event. Consistency is all important. We should neither deviate from the theme during the presentation nor be tempted to make adjustments as we go along.
  3. Be practical. Our theme should evoke practicality and purpose. If it has these qualities it will be familiar to our audience and prove more meaningful. Practicality suggests utility and benefit — both are of interest to our audience. When our audience can sense practical benefits attributed to listening and engaging their engagement increases.
  4. Be thorough. There is no need to struggle for ideas when thinking of a theme for our presentation. There are many workable approaches to getting it right. We can talk to the conference organizers. We can establish whether the conference itself has a theme. Or we could identify if our particular day has a theme to it. In either case we should aim to use this theme — or tweak it slightly to our own purpose. Using something that has resonance elsewhere will be productive. As an alternative we can look at all the other presentations on the agenda and establish whether there is a theme that runs through all of them. If there is, then use it. We could also think about some of the pressing issues that our audience will recognize from their work or professional interests. Issues such as: competition, globalization, outsourcing, innovation or quality. Such issues might be both relevant and familiar. Therefore, they could prove useful in building a theme that is practical, consistent and simple.
  5. Consider the objective. As we finalize our theme we should recall the purpose or mission for our presentation. We are looking to achieve something with our audience. Change their ideas. Change their opinions. Or, change something that they do. Our theme should help us in this mission. Both our purpose and our theme should be aligned.

Our audience will only recall some 10% of our presentation. Our task as speakers is to increase that percentage or, at least, ensure the right 10% is retained. A practical and memorable theme will boost an audience’s memory retention and assist their engagement.

Fear of Speaking – Public Presentation Anxiety? Panic No More!

Is it really possible to overcome the fear of speaking, public presentation anxiety and learn to panic no more when in front of an audience?

Let’s admit it: Most of us dread the thought of speaking before others. Some people have even ranked their fear of speaking, public presentation anxiety and the very thought of being in front of others above their fear of death! However you might feel about it yourself, there are good reasons why you should be interested in public speaking.

It is pretty safe to say that public speaking is a skill that everyone needs. Yes, sooner or later, you may have to face an audience. You may be called on to teach a class of co-workers, pitch a proposal to a client, or explain a financial report to managers.

Actually, speaking skills are essential in a wide range of jobs, including journalism, management, public relations, sales and marketing.

What, though, if your fear of speaking, public presentations etc is so intense and relentless, that you choose your career so that you can eliminate all the chances of you having to step in front of an audience? Well, what about a job interview? Being able to speak well on a job interview may mean the difference between getting hired or not. On the job itself, your ability to express yourself can work in your favour. It may even mean a better job, higher pay, or at least more respect.

Learning good speaking skills can thus benefit you in a variety of ways. Even so, you may still feel anxious at the thought of getting up before an audience. Is there something you can do to overcome your anxiety? Yes, there is.

Tips for anxiety free public speaking:

Don’t be brilliant:

You don’t have to be brilliant or perfect to succeed! The essence of public speaking is this: give your audience something of value. In other words, concentrate on the message, not on yourself or your own anxieties.

Talk, don’t perform:

Your speech should not be a performance. Rather, it should be a conversation. The more conversational your approach, the more relaxed you will be. Try to connect with your audience, not as a mass, but as individuals. Show a real “personal interest” in your audience, and speak the way you normally talk. The way to do this is not to speak to the audience! Instead; talk some time to a single person in the audience. Choose someone who looks friendly. Then, turn to another person and tell another thought to this person.

They don’t want you to fail:

A common reason for anxiety is fear of embarrassment or of being judged by your audience. Luckily the fact is that audiences tend to want you to succeed, not fail! They are on your side!

Nervousness is not all bad:

Contrary to popular belief nervousness is good for you and your presentation. Why is that? Because a measure of nervousness reflects modesty, which will help keep you from becoming overconfident. Many feel that a little nervous energy actually makes them perform better.

Talk, don’t read:

Use outline instead of written talk. That way it’s easier to maintain eye contact, and we speak more naturally and sound more conversational when we use an outline instead of writing things out word for word.

Be human:

Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. You just have to try your best and if, or rather when, the mistake happens -take it easy; it can even work for your benefit: audience likes you even more after you have shown this human side and made that mistake. For sure a mistake or two does not make you less likable.

Practise man practise:

Of course, there is no substitute for experience and lots of practice. Prepare your speech far enough in advance so that you have enough time to practice. Talk it to someone. Not just to yourself, but to a friend, spouse, and a colleague.

Apply these skills. At least try them, and you will see that you can beat that fear of speaking, public presentation anxiety and possibly any social anxiety. And you will panic no more!

Organic Gift Baskets – Green Presents For Every Occasion!

One of today’s world wide trends is the use of organic products. People think healthier and care more about the environment today. Another important reason for the increasing interest for organic products is all the side effects of those chemicals included in non organic products. This “organic trend” is also the case with gift baskets. There is a great demand for organic gift baskets nowadays and it is increasing.

Peoples concern about living a healthier life makes an organic gift basket an ideal present to give away. It is a perfect gift for a birthday present, wedding gift, for showing appreciation for a person / an event or really any other occasion of celebration. Sending them has also been popular lately and is increasing immensely.

There are many different kinds of organic gift baskets on the market today. One of the most popular is of course those that include food. The verities of them are great and they come in all kinds of combinations. Organic fruits, nuts, cheese, chocolate are often included.

Organic gift baskets containing spa products is a very popular present with often very high quality and that green, natural little extra. These organic spa gift baskets often consist of natural oils, moisturizing soaps, body lotions, bath creams, massage tools and other relaxation and cleansing products.

Buying these popular “trend gifts” is of course easiest done through the Internet. There are many sites offering all the different kinds. Some sites also offer a personalized message that you can edit to convey your wishes, making it an even more perfect gift to give away.