Vinette Hoffman Jackson’s new approach to make you excel at presentations
When we give a business presentation or speech we all want our audience to be engaged and to understand and remember our ideas. One way to add clarity and impact to your business presentation is to use unusual props. “These will help keep people’s attention and make you and your ideas memorable”, Vinette says.
Use Movement: Using a prop that moves or interacts with the audience gets people to move their eyes, heads, or bodies towards a focal point. It focuses their attention to where you want them to look.
Getting your audience to move during your speech also provides a break from just sitting and listening. Being active engages the audience, help keep their attention and make your speech more likely to be remembered.
Use Imagery: Most people are visual or kinaesthetic learners and the mind tends to recall things in pictures. It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth ten thousand”. Using pictures or videos in your presentation adds greater opportunity for what you say to be memorable.
Use Sound: A sound creating prop adds variety and interest. An unexpected noise can also prompt a physical response which involves your audience even more in your speech.
It may be background music which helps create an atmosphere for your speech. Imagine a movie trailer without music and the difference is quite startling.
Use Specific Detail: Use props specific to your audience’s culture, geographical location, or some shared passion. It will enhance your speech and build your credibility as a thoughtful, caring and well researched speaker.
Use Humour: Most experienced speakers will usually get the audience to laugh within the first thirsty seconds on stage. This is because it relaxes the body and makes the mind more receptive.
Use Aroma. Use a prop that smells: Did that statement cause you to react? Champion speaker Dananjaya Hettiarachchi holds a rose and smells as he moves forward to start his speech. As most audience members have experienced the aroma of a flower, this serves to trick their olfactory senses into thinking they are having a similar experience.
Impact of Clothes: The way you dress communicates with the audience before you even utter your first word. Choose clothing that is comfortable and facilitates easy movement. Think about your colours, patterns, styles, designs that may offend or endear you to your audience.
Use the unexpected: In his 2009 TED talk, Bill Gates opened a jar of live mosquitoes. The audience members were attentive and emotionally connected by their fear of getting bitten by a mosquito that might cause malaria. Using live creatures may be a bit tricky but as this example shows the effects can be unforgettable!
Practice with props: It’s important to introduce and remove props smoothly. In most cases it will probably be best to have them hidden from view (to avoid distracting your audience). Then bring them out on cue so they support and help clarify what you are saying. It may take a little practice but it will be worthwhile.