Keeping Them Interested

In order to hold your audience's interest, you must engage them and make them think. Earlier on, we considered the points that will be of most interest to them. Read through those points again, and then consider the tips below.

Include elements of interactivity, such as conducting a straw poll (e.g. "How many people here are afraid of flying?"), asking the audience a direct question (e.g. "Can anyone here tell us why they are frightened of spiders?") or even conducting a short quiz. Anything which makes people take action will work.

Make provocative statements, such as ("If global warming continues at its present rate, one-third of you will have to move because of flooding in the next ten years"). Be careful here - you need to be able to back up anything that you say, or your audience may turn against you.

Use written exercises, either individually or in small groups, to break up your presentation and encourage feedback. Make sure that any exercises that you offer are directly related to the topic, and not just an excuse for you to rest your voice!

Of course, the way you use your voice is also vary important. You can vary the pitch, tone and pace of your delivery to emphasise particular points. Used sparingly, sudden raising or lowering of your voice is an extremely effective technique. Best of all, pausing for several seconds, and looking around your audience will produce an anticipation that will allow you to deliver your key message. Think about ways that you can include interactivity in your speech, and write down three techniques that you will use.

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