Usually public speaking and presentation workshops start by teaching you a concrete technique or style to enable you to engage your audiences followed with some practice and recordings. The objective in these kinds of workshops is essentially to show you how to put a strong message together and deliver it effectively to your audience. While these techniques certainly help, there is one other aspect that is overlooked many times: your engagement and connection with the audience actually begins before you have even spoken your first word!
But before getting to a mindful way to present and speak in another post, let me give you some theory and hints from speech and communication studies, that will help you navigate through the process of preparing what you will say (in distinction to how you will be and how you will speak/interact)
One helpful and well-used method to organise presentations for maximum impact is called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence which was developed in the 1930s by Alan Monroe, a speech professor at Purdue University (Indiana, US).
He developed a five-step process designed to persuade an audience:
1. Calling attention to a problem
As part of the introduction: get the attention of your audience! Use storytelling, humor, a shocking statistic, or a rhetorical question – anything that will get the audience to sit up and take notice.
2. Demonstrating a need
Convince your audience there’s a problem. The audience must realise that what’s happening right now isn’t good enough – and it needs to change. You want them to become uncomfortable and restless, and ready to do the “something” that you recommend.
3. Satisfying that need
Introduce your solution. How will you solve the problem that your audience is ready to address? This is the main part of your presentation. It will vary significantly, depending on your purpose.
4. Visualizing the benefits
Describe what the situation will look like if the audience does nothing. The more realistic and detailed the vision, the better it will create the desire to do what you recommend. Your goal is to motivate the audience to agree with you and adopt similar behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Help them see what the results could be if they act the way you want them to. Make sure your vision is believable and realistic.
5. Calling for action
Your final job is to leave your audience with specific things they can do to solve the problem. You want them to take action now. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information or too many expectations, and be sure to give them options to increase their sense of ownership of the solution. This can be as simple as inviting them to have some refreshments as you walk around and answer questions.
Stay tuned for more and if you are already on holidays somewhere while reading this post: ENJOY the present moment!