Help your audience members release “negative energies” through laughter. It is a scientific fact that people who suppress laughter build up gases that will in turn make them feel bloated… and if you don’t help them annihilate those gases through laughter, those gases build up to a point that they’ll blow up.
Ok, don’t run to your librarian or try to look for any scientific evidence on the above ; but it IS a fact that audiences will perceive you as a more successful presenter if you entertain them. This does not mean that you have to be a clown, tell jokes, or even that you are expected to be a naturally funny person. Entertaining audiences can be done through:
– group activities
– stories (humorous, shocking, with a morale, etc.)
– involving audience through questions
– inviting volunteers to demonstrate something at front of the room
– using simple humorous twists (visit your local library and check out some books on how to use humor in your presentations)
In the past close to a decade, since I’ve been a full time speaker, I learned that audiences will appreciate if you involve them in the presentation. I have full-day and two-day workshops where I serve more as a facilitator than a presenter, providing about 70 to 80% interactive activities (individual activities, pair up people, and lots of group activities – then have them share their findings with the rest of the group), yet on the feedback form some people will say the following:
“What did you like most about today’s presentation?” “The interaction and group activities”
“What suggestion would you have to improve this presentation?” “More interactive activities”
So, yes, no matter how much interaction I provide, some wish they had more. I get lots of great feedback where my audiences express loving the activities; however, I NEVER had anyone complain that I had too many interactive activities or that they didn’t like them. And we’re talking here about thousands’ of people’s feedback.
So as you prepare to present your next workshop, make sure to plan some activities that involve your audience. Hop over to www.amazon.com and check out some of the books on Ice Breakers, Games that Drive Change, Activities Speakers Use, etc. Play with different terms; there are dozens of great books out there…
Also, check out http://www.egSebastian.com/facilitator_kitsto explore some ready-to-go workshops that are already filled great activities (we presented some of these programs to more than 150 Fortune 500 companies) I’ve been using the Everything DiSC package – which contains more than a dozen ready-to-go workshops – since ’03, presenting workshops from it on a monthly basis. The Everything DiSC is great as it provides several workshops for customer needs such as:
– improving team performance
– improving managers performance
– dealing with difficult customers/coworkers/etc
– improving sales performance and more
… the other kits are more niched towards one customer need. Here’s the link again: www.egSebastian.com/facilitator_kits
With any of these kits you ensure a professionally delivered presentation, filled with interactive activities, and can generate referrals and repeat business almost guaranteed.
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