Newsletter April 04
Keeping your audience interested
Imagine you are watching a film, where all the scenes take place in the same room.
How interesting would that be?
Your level of interest and enjoyment would not be what it could be, because while the content of each scene is different, the presentation of them is the same. This is one of the reasons why filmmakers don’t do this!
And so it is with speaking. While the content of your talk / training session changes throughout, if the presentation of each point is the same, the audience will find it difficult to maintain their interest level, and so it will be harder for you to get your message across.
You need to have variety.
Variety is one of the main keys to keeping your audience interested, and there are 3 ways you can do this:
1. Vary how you look
a) Your facial animation. Does your face have some ‘life’ to it? Do you smile, have eye contact, indicate emotion?
b) Your gestures. Use natural gestures that correspond to your message
c) Body movement. When possible move around, move towards your audience, use the stage area
2. Vary how you sound
Imagine the use of voice can be seen as ‘vocal colour’, and the range of colour we can use is like a rainbow. We use the mid-range blue/green as our regular voice, vibrant reds for energetic speaking, sunny yellows for fun parts, and pastel lilacs for gentle speaking. Aim to use a range of colour to get your message across.
Also imagine your use of voice is like water coming out of a tap, and vary your speed of delivery. Sometimes have it on full, other times a slow trickle, and other times switch it off temporarily by using pausation.
3. Vary what you do
a) Use visuals, eg video, OHP, flipchart, show an object, PowerPoint
b) Get the audience involved eg brainstorm an issue, Question and Answer, fill in a form, speak to the person next to them
c) Vary your verbal delivery eg tell a story, use dialogue, relate an anecdote
The best way to lose your audience is to have no variety at all.
The best way to keep them with you is to include as much variety as it appropriate.